Wales to face Tonga in Eden Park double-header

Wales will face Tonga at Eden Park on Friday 16th June as part of an exciting double-header with New Zealand and Samoa.

Dubbed the 'Pasifika Challenge' due to its showcasing of Pacific Island rugby, the action in Auckland begins with Wales versus Tonga at 17:30 (local time), followed by the All Blacks' British and Irish Lions warm-up match against Samoa at 20:00. 

"It's a great honour for us as a nation to be taking part in the Pasifika Challenge," said Wales head coach Robin McBryde, who names his squad for the tour at midday tomorrow (Tuesday 9th). "We have a huge amount of respect for rugby's Pacific heritage, so to be able to compete in a double-header celebrating that is very special. It should be a fantastic occasion."

Auckland is home to the world's largest Pacific Island population, which suggests the world-famous Eden Park could become a home from home for Tonga and Samoa for what the New Zealand Rugby organisers describe as "an unprecedented double-header."

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: "Along with Tonga and Wales it's going to be a wonderful evening where you've got Pasifika rugby on show and Welsh rugby and New Zealand rugby. It allows us to fill a need for ourselves as we need a game to prepare for the Lions and also give something back to Pasifika rugby."

The double-header will also provide Wales with an opportunity to observe the second opponents of their two-Test tour, with McBryde's men flying to Apia to take on Samoa a week later on Friday 23rd June (19:30, local time).