Super rugby champions the Crusaders and the Chiefs will play their 16th round super rugby fixture on Saturday 1 June 2019 in the Fijian city of Suva.
The venue for the Chiefs home game against the Crusaders has been confirmed as ANZ Stadium in Suva, which will be the third time that Fiji has played host to a Super Rugby match between the two sides.
Crusaders Chairman Grant Jarrold said it is exciting to once again have the Pacific Island nation host the fixture.
“We are thrilled the Chiefs have invited us back to Suva for their home game in 2019.
“The Crusaders have close ties with Fiji so we’re grateful to the Fiji Government, Fiji Sports Council and Fortress Information Systems for bringing this game, between two quality New Zealand Super Rugby teams, to Suva,” Jarrold said.
Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson said the match is always well received by the Fijian people.
“We are fortunate to have passionate supporters all over the world, but Fiji represents a really special fan base for the Crusaders.
“The people of Fiji are always so friendly and inviting, and they know their rugby too, so it’s great to be able to play this game in Suva and connect with our loyal Fijian fans again next season,” Robertson said.
The first Super Rugby match to be played in Fiji was between the Chiefs and the Crusaders in July 2016, where the Chiefs won 23-13 in the Capital. In 2017 it was the boot of Richie Mo’unga that separated the sides, the Crusaders winning 31-24.
This match will be the last of the Crusaders’ regular season away matches in 2019, as they are scheduled to return home to Christchurch Stadium in round 17, and will sit out the last round of competition with a bye.
The Chiefs also played in Suva last year, beating the Highlanders in a home game for the southern club.
Chiefs Chief Executive Mike Collins said it was exciting to again take a Super Rugby game to the Pacific Islands and an opportunity for the rugby-loving public in Fiji to once again see some of the best players in the world in action.
“The Fijian people have been great supporters of the Super Rugby matches we have played in Suva, and Fiji has added a lot to rugby in New Zealand over the years, so we’re really pleased to be able to take another game there,” he said.
“The Chiefs have played in Suva the past three years, including the very first Super Rugby game played in the islands, so we have a close connection with Fiji – it feels like a home away from home and a real part of our Chiefs territory.”
Shaheen Ali, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Tourism in Fiji is “elated that the Gallagher Chiefs will be coming out to Fiji for this match in 2019 as this is a reflection of the trend for many of our visitors, with return trips once they have tasted Fiji’s warm hospitality, and we look forward to once again, hosting the annual Super Rugby feature
The 2019 Super Rugby Steering Committee Chair Litiana Loabuka is ecstatic about being able to have the Gallagher Chiefs under Fiji’s banner next year says, “the Fiji Sports Council team is definitely excited that with Government’s support we are able to host this game at the ANZ Stadium, Suva in 2019. The Gallagher Chiefs did well to secure a win last year and we know they will be looking forward to making it a repeat win the home side advantage, so please Save the Date Fiji – Saturday, 1st of June is going to be a spectacular night of rugby entertainment.”