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Blues to face Reds in Samoa

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/01/2017
Samoa will host its first Super Rugby game after the Blues confirm their June match against the Reds will be played in Apia. © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images Samoa will host its first Super Rugby game after the Blues confirm their June match against the Reds will be played in Apia.

Another Super Rugby game is being taken to the Pacific Islands, with the Blues to face the 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 last year when they "hosted" the Crusaders in Fiji. Both teams are returning to Suva this year.

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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