All Blacks confirm Fiji Test
April 29, 2011
Carisbrook will host the All Blacks in July © Getty Images
The All Blacks will play Fiji at Carisbrook in Dunedin in a Tri-Nations warm-up Test in July.
The match was confirmed by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) on Friday, with all net profits from the match on July 22 going to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.
Canterbury residents, including the Canterbury rugby community, will also get the chance to buy tickets before they go on nationwide public sale.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry said the test would be a key match for his team as they prepared for the Tri-Nations and the Rugby World Cup.
"It's important that we have a game together as a team so that we can reignite and build on our combinations again and give the players the best possible preparation and kickoff to the season, so it's fantastic that Fiji has been confirmed," he said.
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew admitted that final confirmation of the test had been delayed due to the New Zealand government's travel restrictions on some Fijian citizens.
"The NZRU has not asked the New Zealand government for any exemptions to the travel ban in place," he said. "The Fiji Rugby Union will field a competitive team within the parameters of the travel ban...while the Fijian government has confirmed they have no objections to the team travelling to New Zealand for the match."
The NZRU had hoped to stage the match at the new Forsyth-Barr Stadium in Dunedin but the ground would not be quite ready to host matches by then. The All Blacks have played Fiji eight times since 1974, with the last test in 2005.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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