Pa­cific Is­lan­ders’ love of rugby will see Fiji host first-ever Su­per Rugby game in 2016

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

SU­PER RUGBY will con­tinue its ex­pan­sion next year with the Chiefs play­ing one of their home games in Fiji, the first time a match has been played in the Pa­cific Is­lands.

The pre­vi­ously wholly South­ern Hemi­sphere rugby com­pe­ti­tion is ex­pand­ing to 18 teams next sea­son with sides in South Africa, Ar­gentina and Ja­pan join­ing the tour­na­ment.

Ja­pan’s Sun­wolves side will play some of their home matches in Sin­ga­pore.

The Chiefs will play the seven-time cham­pion Cru­saders in Suva on July 1. It is only the sec­ond time a New Zealand side will play a home match out­side of their coun­try.

The Cru­saders played a “home” match against the Sharks in Lon­don in 2011 fol­low­ing an earth­quake that forced them to play all of their games away from Christchurch.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity to take the... Chiefs to Fiji and help pro­mote the game in their coun­try,” Chiefs CEO An­drew Flex­man said.

“Fi­jians have added a huge amount to New Zealand’s rugby her­itage and it is fit­ting that we can give some­thing back as well as ex­pose our brand in a new ter­ri­tory.

“We know how much the Pa­cific Is­land peo­ple love their rugby and this year’s test match be­tween Manu Samoa and the All Blacks was tes­ta­ment to that.”

Cru­saders wing Ne­mani Nadolo played for Fiji at the re­cent Rugby World Cup in England, while he will be joined by fly­half Ben Volavola next sea­son af­ter Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Tom Tay­lor all signed Euro­pean con­tracts. – Reuters

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