Chiefs to play Crusaders Super Rugby match in Fiji

Sonny-Bill Williams is tackled by Dan Carter in the last Chiefs v Crusaders match

Hamilton Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs have announced that they will play their Round 15 Super Ruby match against the Crusaders in Fiji at ANZ Stadium, Suva.

The historic match will take place on Friday 1 July 2016 and is just the second Super Rugby match in history to be played outside of a Super Rugby country following the Crusaders v Sharks match in the 2011 Super Rugby season.

The unique fixture is the result of an extensive amount of work by multiple parties who were eager to have more top class rugby in the Pacific Islands.

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said “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.

“This is a great opportunity to take the Chiefs to Fiji and help promote the game in their country. 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.

“The fixture is a culmination of a lot of hard work by numerous parties, none more so than the game promoter Fortress Information Systems and the Government of Fiji. We should also acknowledge the New Zealand Rugby Players Association and our players for their support in this venture.”

Super Rugby will expand in 2016 to include Argentina and Japan (with matches being played in Singapore) so this match in Fiji will make the Pacific Island nation the the eighth nation to host a Super Rugby fixture, joining Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

SANZAR Interim CEO, Brendan Morris, welcomed the exciting news.

“In 2016, Super Rugby is being delivered to more countries and more fans than ever before. Not only will we see games played in Argentina, Japan and Singapore for the first time in history, but we are delighted to partner with the Fijian Government, the Chiefs and event promoter Fortress to deliver the first ever match to the Pacific Islands.

“We thank everyone that has worked hard behind the scenes to deliver this history-making clash and we look forward to what will be an incredible occasion in Suva next July.”

There is great excitement within Fiji Tourism and the Government of Fiji about showcasing Fiji and its national stadium in Suva alongside the Fijian people’s love of rugby. The match will be accessible for the local people with Fortress willing to provide discounted tickets for Fijian citizens to watch the match.

Matthew Davey, founder and CEO of Fortress added: “We are thrilled to be working with the Government of Fiji to help make this historic rugby match happen for the people of Fiji.

Exclusive ‘Chiefs Road Crew’ tour packages will be available soon for those rugby fans that would like to be part of this special match and all 2016 members will automatically go in the draw to win ‘The Ultimate Chiefs Experience’ which is a trip for two to Fiji to watch their team take on the Crusaders.

Meanwhile the Chiefs have confirmed that they will play play their two pre-season games against the Waratahs in the Bay of Plenty and the Blues in Counties Manukau. They will also return to Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth for their Round 10 match against the Sharks.

Chiefs 2016 Pre-season Fixtures
Friday 12 February Chiefs v Waratahs Bay of Plenty
Friday 19 February Chiefs v Blues Counties Manukau

Chiefs 2016 Super Rugby Home Fixtures
Saturday 5 March Chiefs v Lions 5.15pm FMG Stadium, Waikato
Saturday 26 March Chiefs v Western Force 7.35pm FMG Stadium, Waikato
Friday 8 April Chiefs v Blues 7.35pm FMG Stadium, Waikato
Friday 29 April Chiefs v Sharks 7.35pm Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
Saturday 7 May Chiefs v Highlanders 7.35pm FMG Stadium, Waikato
Saturday 21 May Chiefs v Rebels 7.35pm FMG Stadium, Waikato
Friday 1 July Chiefs v Crusaders 7.35pm ANZ Stadium,

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