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New Zealand Maori cancel Singapore match

October 21, 2014

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Maori cancelled a Nov. 15 rugby match against the Asia-Pacific Dragons because of concern over the state of the playing surface at Singapore National Stadium.

The decision was announced on Tuesday at a news conference called to announce a 27-man Maori All Blacks squad which will play only against Japan at Kobe on Nov. 1 and at Tokyo a week later.

The Asia-Pacific Dragons, who were to be coached by former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga, are a Barbarians-style invitational team composed of players from Japan, Hong Kong, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand.

“Significant issues” with the surface of the newly opened Singapore stadium were raised during a football match between Japan and Brazil last week, said New Zealand Rugby’s general manager of planning and operations, Nigel Cass.