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Sponsor may be answer to AB game in Samoa

Sponsor may be answer to AB game in Samoa

Mangere MP Su’a William Sio has written to the New Zealand Rugby Union urging it give serious consideration to having the All Blacks play in Samoa and offering to help find a sponsor.

“You could not get a more loyal group of supporters for the All Blacks outside of New Zealand than the young people of Samoa and the Pacific general. The All Blacks are idolised in the Islands,” Su’a William Sio said.

“I have written to CEO Steve Tew offering to work with him and the NZRU to try and find sponsors with an interest in the Pacific to support such a match taking place.

“While the Māori All Blacks and the Junior All Blacks, along with teams from both Scotland and Wales, have played a number of games in the Pacific, including Samoa, the All Blacks have never set foot on Samoan soil.

“There is no doubt that the NZ Rugby Union is a strong supporter of rugby in the Pacific, hosting rugby development workshops in both the Pacific countries and here at home.

“However, when the All Blacks turned down an invitation from the Samoa Prime Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union to play the Manu Samoa during its 50th Independence celebrations in 2012, and then hearing lately that the NZRU will play against the USA rugby team later this year, this was taken by many Samoans as a slap in the face.

“I accept there are major commercial constraints around an All Black visit to Samoa and that there would be issues with broadcasting, but I am confident those concerns can be worked through once a sponsor puts their hand up.

“I will be visiting Samoa next week with a government delegation and will explore further options with the Samoa Rugby Union to see if we can make this happen.”
Ends

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