The Maori All Blacks celebrate the indigenous population of the country and all players must have their ancestry verified before being selected for the team.
The team’s influence can be felt across all strands of New Zealand rugby, having introduced the haka to the sport, and history shows they’ve produced the results to go with it.
Indeed the Lions lost to the Maoris in 2005 – in the unofficial ‘fourth Test’ – 19-13 in a sell-out crowd in Hamilton.
Some of New Zealand’s best players across all generations have proven their worth in the side, including legendary full-back George Nepia, 2011 World Cup winner Piri Weepu and current stars Aaron Smith and Dane Coles.
After the disappointment of 2005, beating the Maoris will be high on the to-do list for the 2017 Lions when they take them on in Rotorua in the fifth game of the Tour.
The Maori side also claimed victories over the USA and Harlequins on their northern hemisphere Tour in the autumn of 2016 but slipped to defeat to Munster at Thomond Park.
They will be coached by Colin Cooper with Tana Umaga was one of the assistants in what will be one of the pivotal clashes of the Tour before the Test series begins.
For more information on the Maori All Blacks, click here.