All Blacks v Flying Fijians: Test matches expected to be announced next month

The All Blacks will play two test matches against the Flying Fijians this year, with an official announcement expected next month.

RNZ Pacific understands both games will be played outside of New Zealand.

The All Blacks last hosted the Fijians in July 2021, with the visitors going down 57-23 and 60-13 in a two Test series in Dunedin and Hamilton.

NZR and Fiji Rugby have not responded to RNZ Pacfic’s queries, but it is understood an annoucement is expected sometime next month.

When asked for more details, Fiji Rugby Trustees Board chairman Peter Mazey said, “there is no update yet”.

While both – the New Zealand Rugby and the Fiji Rugby Union have not made an official announcement yet – RugbyPass website had quoted NZR chief executive Mark Robinson’s interview with Sky Sports ‘The Breakdown’ show that they were working on test matches against Fiji in 2024, with one likely to be in the July Test window.

Robinson had revealed at the time that discussions were underway for a possible historic first test between the All Blacks and Fiji on Fijian soil.

He confirmed the All Blacks will host England for two Tests in July and Fiji for one more, and floated the possibility of a rematch back in Fiji which would be a historic first.

“We’re locked into to play one in July next year at home,” Robinson said on Sky Sport NZ’s The Breakdown.

“We’ve got England here for the first two games in the July series which is fantastic obviously and one game against Fiji.

“We’re working on the possibility of going back and reciprocating and playing in Fiji which would obviously be an amazing occasion but [we have] a bit of work to do before we can making any more formal announcements there.”

Fiji has played the All Blacks in New Zealand, the last of which was in 2021 with two Tests.

A New Zealand XV team played Fiji in Fiji in 1974, 1980 and 1984, but they were not considered full internationals.

Robinson also told the show back then that playing Fiji in Fiji was an option they were looking at.

Offshore tests overseas

An RNZ Pacific source close to the unions says while official announcement is expected in February, the test matches will be held offshore.

NZR’s media team had responded to requests for an interview with Robinson, adding they are trying to confirm his availability.

The Flying Fijians are set to be part of the extended Rugby Championships from 2026 along with Japan.

The team’s 2023 Rugby World Cup performance, where they became the only Tier 2 team in the quarterfinals, and the fact that they defeated England and Australia is the team’s most successful rugby campaign to date.

It has seen rugby pundits call for Fiji to be given more games with Tier 1 sides.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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