Tonga v Wales: June Test to be played in Auckland

Tonga celebrate beating Italy in Padua in November, 2016
Tonga celebrate beating Italy in Padua in November, 2016

Wales' summer Test match against Tonga will be played in Auckland after concerns raised by the Welsh Rugby Union over the suitability of the stadium in Nuku'alofa.

World Rugby assessed facilities in Tonga and has confirmed the match has been moved.

It will be played on Friday, 16 June, a day earlier than originally scheduled.

The WRU had expressed doubts over the readiness of Tonga's Teufaiva Sport Stadium, which is being redeveloped.

Another concern was the availability of medical cover should a serious injury occur.

Delegations from World Rugby and the WRU visited Tonga in December to see whether sufficient progress had been made, but concerns remained that the pitch would not be fit for purpose.

The match will take place the day before the British and Irish Lions take on New Zealand Maori in Rotorua, while Wales' game in Samoa will go ahead as planned in Apia on 24 June.

Wales' last Test in Tonga was in 1994

Tonga has rarely had the the opportunity to host tier-one nations.

The last time Wales toured the islands in the South Pacific was in 1994.

In February World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: "World Rugby shares in Tonga's disappointment that this match will be moved given the huge effort made by the Tongan Rugby Union (TRU) to date.

"But the decision was jointly agreed by the WRU and World Rugby with the objective of ensuring that the fixture can go ahead albeit in a different location."

Fans and travel companies had been in limbo for a number of months as they were unable to confirm itineraries for those wishing to travel.

A venue has yet to be confirmed, though North Harbour's QBE Stadium is among those being considered.

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