Maori’s Singapore match cancelled

The New Zealand Maori match against the Asia-Pacific Barbarians has been cancelled, due to the poor quality of the National Stadium pitch in Singapore.

The pitch, part of a $1-billion sports complex, has come under immense criticism recently and the decision to cancel the match could have ramifications for Singapore's Super Rugby bid.

The stadium forms an integral part of the bid to become the 18th Super Rugby franchise when the competition expands in 2016.

The Maori All Blacks had been scheduled to face the Tana Umaga-coached side at the stadium on 15 November after two matches in Japan.

'We feel somewhat let down that this has happened at this late stage,' NZRU general manager planning and operations Nigel Cass said in a statement on Tuesday. 'However, the safety of our players is paramount and we were unable to get the assurances we needed that the pitch was playable.'

New Zealand Maori squad – Joe Royal, Ash Dixon, Codie Taylor, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, Nicholas Barrett, Brendon Edmonds, Tom Franklin, Joseph Wheeler, Shane Christie (vc), Blade Thomson, Liam Squire, Elliot Dixon, Sean Polwart, Dan Pryor, Jamison Gibson-Park, Chris Smylie, Ihaia West, Marty McKenzie, Jason Emery, Charlie Ngatai (c), James Lowe, Matt Proctor, Kurt Baker , Joe Webber, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Robbie Robinson.

Photo: BackpagePix