The Welsh Rugby Union have confirmed that they will play former Super Rugby champions the Chiefs during their tour of New Zealand in 2016.
The match will take place in Hamilton on Tuesday evening, 14 June 2016, following the opening Test of the tour against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday 11 June.
Warren Gatland’s side then go on to face the All Blacks at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday 18th June before the final clash of the series on Saturday 23rd June at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
The midweek match will be played at the FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton and is expected to draw huge interest given the region’s connection with Welsh Rugby; head coach Gatland is Hamilton’s Honorary Ambassador and a former Hamilton Boys High School student and former Chiefs player Gareth Anscombe featured in Wales’ RWC squad.
“It is great our midweek match against the Chiefs has been confirmed,” said Gatland.
“For the squad it will be an opportunity for further valuable game time together ahead of the second and third tests against the All Blacks.
“For me personally it will be an honour to bring Wales to Hamilton and face the Chiefs.”
Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said,”The combination of Wales’ success and popularity at the current Rugby World Cup and Warren’s connections to this region, will make for a very special match.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide this unique opportunity for our loyal fans and are grateful to the Welsh Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby, Waikato Rugby Union and the Hamilton City Council for helping make this happen.”
Dave Rennie, the Chiefs head coach believes the international match will fall in a crucial time for his side’s Investec Super Rugby campaign. “The chance for provincial players to play against International sides is a rarity in the professional era, so we are really excited by the challenge.
“Gats is hugely respected in this community so it’s a nice fit for him to bring his Welsh team home to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs.”
Wales 2016 June Tour Test fixtures
Saturday, 11 June 2016 v Wales, Eden Park, Auckland
Tuesday, 14 June Chiefs v Wales (FMG Stadium Waikato)
Saturday, 18 June 2016 v Wales, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, 25 June 2016 v Wales, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin