14 May 2015

Maori All Blacks to play Fiji

12:23 pm on 14 May 2015

The Maori All Blacks will play Fiji for the first time in seven years as part of a two-match series in July.

The team will play Fiji at the National Stadium in Suva on Saturday 11 July and then return to New Zealand to play the Barbarians in Auckland a week later.

The Maori All Blacks will be playing Fiji in Suva in July.

The Maori All Blacks will be playing Fiji in Suva in July. Photo: Photosport

The Maori All Blacks last played Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup in 2008, winning 11-7 in Lautoka.

The two sides first met in 1938 in Suva and have played each other 28 times since with the Maori All Blacks winning 19 matches, losing seven and drawn twice.

"We're very excited to be returning to Fiji where we've enjoyed a wonderful rivalry over 77 years," chair of the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board Wayne Peters said.

"This match will be a great celebration of the proud rugby history we share and again underlines the strong ties between Pacific rugby and New Zealand rugby."

The Maori All Blacks play Fiji three days after the historic Test in Apia between the All Blacks and Manu Samoa.

Maori All Blacks Coach Colin Cooper said he was looking forward to assembling the team again.

"Fiji will be tough opponents and will be looking to turn in a top performance as part of their preparations for the Pacific Nations Cup and Rugby World Cup later in the year. This'll be a real challenge for the boys and we'll need to be on top of our game.

Maori All Blacks 2015 matches:

Saturday, 11 July v Fiji, ANZ National Stadium, Suva, 3pm

Saturday, 18 July v New Zealand Barbarians, Eden Park, Auckland, 7.35pm