The All Blacks squad will assemble for a two-day camp on Auckland's North Shore minus the eight players in the Crusaders, who will be preparing for this weekend's Super Rugby Final. In their absence, a number of other players will be brought into the camp including Makos loose forwards Liam Squire from the Chiefs and Shane Christie from the Highlanders.
Nelson's David Havili and Waimea Old Boys' Jeff Lepa have signed two-year deals with the Tasman Rugby Union.
Matk Bright who played 52 games for the Tasman Makos between 2006 and 2011, had been part of England's training squad for the previous two months, but was still relieved and excited to hear he'd made the final cut.
The 27 man squad comprises 11 returning Tasman Makos players and 16 rising stars from the Marlborough and Nelson Bays club competitions. Marlborough provides 9 players while 18 come from Nelson Bays.
Former All Black Jimmy Cowan is set to rekindle his New Zealand playing career with the Tasman Makos after confirming a one-year deal with the Tasman union.
Kieron Fonotia knows about grafting in the real world. While many of his contemporaries were being accepted by rugby academies, and later mulling Super Rugby contracts and being promoted into the All Blacks, the New Brighton tradie was playing club footy and working as a tiler. Then things changed - rapidly.