All Blacks to host Tonga in final hit out before 2019 World Cup
AUCKLAND, New Zealand – November 25, 2018: 7.35pm (TVNZ): The All Blacks will host Tonga in Hamilton ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with the two sides to face off on September 7 next year.
The match will be played at FMG Stadium, seeing the haka square off against the sipi tau, the first time the All Blacks have played in Hamilton since 2016.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew spoke of his delight at being able to host Tonga, allowing both sides a vital hit out before the next World Cup.
“We invited Tonga to play this fixture which we saw as an important part of the All Blacks’ preparation, but also a great way for Tonga to prepare for Rugby World Cup 2019. We envisage this will be an opportunity for fans to provide a colourful send-off for both teams,” Tew said.
“As New Zealanders we really admire the way Tongan supporters get behind their team with such passion and commitment. We’re looking forward to their enthusiasm and energy joining with All Blacks fans creating an amazing atmosphere in January and September.”
What’s more, the one-off will signal a return to afternoon Test rugby, kicking off at 2:35pm.
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