Rugby Union 1 year ago

Super Blues to face Reds in Samoa

  • Super Blues to face Reds in Samoa

    BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Rieko Ioane of the Blues is tackled during the round four Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Blues at Suncorp Stadium on March 19, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Another Super Rugby game is being taken to the Pacific Islands, with the Auckland-based Blues to face the Queensland Reds in Samoa in June.

The match in Apia on June 2 will be the first time Samoa has hosted such a fixture.

The Chiefs broke new ground in 2016 when they hosted the Crusaders in Fiji, with both teams returning to Suva this year.

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Blues chief executive Michael Redman and Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi announced the game would take place under floodlights at Apia Park, where the All Blacks faced Samoa in a historic Test two years ago.

Redman says it made sense to move the game out of Auckland as it falls five days before the Blues face the touring British and Irish Lions at Eden Park.

"When we assessed all of our options within our region, taking this game to Samoa became an obvious choice," he said.

"Our Blues region is home to around 150,000 proud Samoans and we have 15 players in our team with Samoan heritage, along with our head coach Tana Umaga."

Blues coach Tana Umaga said the game will be an emotional one for him and his players.

"As someone with Samoa heritage, I am very proud to be part of the first Super Rugby match played in Samoa and of course a number of our team have family members living there."

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