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Wales’ match against Tonga this summer is likely to be moved to Auckland

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 20/02/2017

There have long been concerns over the fitness of Tonga to stage a Test match for a number of differing reasons

Wales’ match against Tonga this summer will not take place on the South Sea Island and is likely to be moved to Auckland.

World Rugby has confirmed the June 17 fixture will be moved from the capital, Nuku’alofa because of redevelopment work on the national stadium.

There are doubts, in particular, over whether the pitch will be fit for purpose.

World Rugby says discussions are taking place with alternative venues, though WalesOnline understands Auckland is favourite.

Wales are also known to have been concerned with a lack of medical facilities in Tonga of the standard required by a modern Test squad.

As part of the same tour, Wales will play Samoa in Apia on 24th June. Combined with Italy and Scotland playing Test matches in Fiji in June, Fiji playing Australia in Melbourne and the Oceania Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification fixtures in July, the Pacific Island teams will have a strong schedule of international Test matches in June/July of this year.

© Radio and Television Tonga News