All Blacks to host Samoa in September

The All Blacks will host Samoa in a one-off rugby Test in September, the first full international between the two countries since 2001.

The Test on September 3 in New Plymouth will be the first in the city on the west coast of the North Island, the New Zealand Rugby Union said Monday.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said the All Blacks needed an extra Test as there is a four-week break between their Tri-Nations game against South Africa in Cape Town on August 17 and their final game of the series against Australia in Brisbane on September 13.

The NZRU had hoped to schedule a Test against Argentina as part of an invitation for the Pumas to play South Africa, Australia and New Zealand during a break in the Tri-Nations.

“However, problems with arranging the release of Argentina’s top players meant this was not going to be feasible so we are thankful that Samoa has agreed to play the All Blacks,” Tew said.

The All Blacks have played four Tests against Samoa and won 50-6 in 2001.

Samoa are rebuilding after a disappointing World Cup and lost 34-17 to Fiji in a Pacific Nations Cup clash on Saturday.

Sapa-AFP –

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