August 26, 2019

Full-strength All Blacks likely for Tonga Test

The September 7 clash between the All Blacks and Tonga in Hamilton is set to be a blockbuster affair with both teams likely to put out full-strength teams for the clash.

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The day-time Test in Hamilton will be the last hit-out for both sides before they depart for the World Cup in Japan and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has given a strong indication that he will select a near front-line team for the match.

"We'd like probably most of the frontliners to get some form of game-time in the Tonga game, otherwise it's too big a break before we play South Africa," Hansen said.

Before the September 7 clash at FMG Stadium in Hamilton, the All Blacks will announce their 31-man Rugby World Cup squad at 12pm on Wednesday 28 August.

The announcement will be broadcast live on Spark Sport and the All Blacks Facebook page and is sure to contain one or two surprises given the fierce competition for places in the squad.

The team will then depart for the Air New Zealand All Blacks to the Nation on Thursday 29 August before coming into camp to prepare for the Tonga game.

The clash in Hamilton will be the first day-time Test for the All Blacks since they played Canada in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Wellington.

The game will be made even more special by a curtain-raiser between a Pacific Legends XV and a New Zealand Barbarians Legends XV. The clash will see many well-known faces from the past return to the field and raise awareness of the diabetes and obesity epidemic affecting many New Zealand communities, but especially the Pacific Island and Maori communities.

Get your tickets for the All Blacks vs Tonga Test and Pacific Legends vs Barbarians Legends here

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Full-strength All Blacks likely for Tonga Test