Tonga-Wales clash to be moved away from South Sea island

17 February 2017 01:09

Wales' planned tour game against Tonga this summer will not take place on the South Sea island.

World Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union have confirmed that the June 17 Test match will have to be held in another country.

The relocation is due to ground works at the Tonga national stadium in Nuku'alofa running behind schedule, meaning that the pitch might not be fit for purpose in time.

A statement released by the WRU read: "Given the significant logistics involved in hosting an international touring Test team, it was agreed by all parties that it would be prudent to move forward with alternative venue arrangements to ensure that the Test match could still take place in June at an appropriate facility.

"Discussions are taking place with alternative venues to host the match on the same weekend in June."

Wales have a confirmed clash against Samoa in Apia on June 24, with the Tonga fixture now looking likely to be held in New Zealand.

WRU chairman Gareth Davies added: "Everyone involved in the planning for this tour wanted the game to be hosted in Tonga, and this is the reason we have delayed before confirming the fixture.

"The Tonga Rugby Union should be commended for their efforts in relation to the redevelopment of their national stadium, but unfortunately, time has proved to be against us all and, although difficult, it is the right decision to move the game."

Source: PA