All Blacks to play Fiji, Tonga in July

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Mark Robinson, CEO of New Zealand Rugby.
Mark Robinson, CEO of New Zealand Rugby.
Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

The All Blacks will play Fiji and Tonga in July after the Test schedule was rejigged because of the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand Rugby announced Monday.

The three-time world champions were initially due to host two Tests against Italy and one against Fiji in the July international window before the Azzurri pulled out due to concerns about travelling during the pandemic.

Instead, NZR said the All Blacks would stage one Test against Tonga and two against Fiji.

"We look forward to welcoming the Flying Fijians to New Zealand for what will be an historic, first-ever, back-to-back All Blacks Test series against them," NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said in a statement.

Fiji coach Vern Cotter said he wanted to assemble his strongest possible team and was working out the logistics of getting overseas-based players to the Pacific island nation, which is currently battling a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

"We have been looking at the overseas and also local players and trying to get them back in time for quarantine and training so that we can prepare properly for the first game on 10 July," Cotter said.

The All Blacks will play Tonga at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium on 3 July, with the Maori All Blacks v Samoa as a curtain-raiser.

The first All Blacks-Fiji Test is in Dunedin 10 on July, with the second in Hamilton a week later.

The Hamilton match will have a Tonga v Samoa Rugby World Cup qualifier as a curtain-raiser.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Having lost the first Test against the British & Irish Lions, can the Springboks recover to win the series?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, they will win the series 2-1. Go Bokke!
55% - 3661 votes
The Boks will win a Test, but will lose the series 2-1.
27% - 1805 votes
It's not looking good. A 3-0 whitewash is on the cards.
18% - 1162 votes