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Historic match on the table for All Blacks and Fiji for 2024

By Ben Smith
Levani Botia. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

NZ Rugby CEO Mark Robinson has revealed that discussions are underway for a historic first Test between the All Blacks and Fiji on Fijian soil.

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He confirmed that the All Blacks will host England for two Tests in July and Fiji for one more, but floated the possibility of a rematch back in Fiji which would be a historic first.

“We’re locked into to play one in July next year at home,” Robinson said on Sky Sport NZ’s The Breakdown.

“We’ve got England here for the first two games in the July series which is fantastic obviously and one game against Fiji.

“We’re working on the possibility of going back and reciprocating and playing in Fiji which would obviously be an amazing occasion but [we have] a bit of work to do before we can making any more formal announcements there.”

Fiji has played the All Blacks in New Zealand, the last of which was in 2021 with two Tests, but a sanctioned Test fixture has not occurred on Fijian soil.

A New Zealand XV team played Fiji in Fiji in 1974, 1980 and 1984, but they were not considered full internationals.

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In 1984 the team featured Jock Hobbs, Murray Mexted, Wayne Smith, and Grant Fox toured for four exhibition matches, the last of which was against the Fiji national side .

A roadblock to the fixture is that it will have to be played outside the sanctioned July window, with Fiji potentially losing some of their European-based players.

In 2015 the All Blacks played a Test match in the Pacific Islands for the first time with a tough encounter with Samoa.

The All Blacks prevailed 25-16 in an absorbing fixture that stunned many with Samoa refusing to back down, staying in the contest until late when George Moala sealed the game with a try.

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The form of the Fijian Drua when playing at home illustrates just how hard it is to beat the Pacific sides on home soil.

The Drua defeated the Crusaders and Hurricanes at home while last season pushed the Chiefs and Highlanders to the brink of defeat.

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