2 Jun 2014

Sport: NZ PM expects All Blacks will play in Samoa

11:24 am on 2 June 2014

The New Zealand Prime Minister says he believes it is inevitable that the All Blacks will eventually play a test match in Samoa.

John Key has arrived for the first leg of his Pacific mission, that will also take in Tonga and Niue later this week.

New Zealand Rugby confirmed last month the All Blacks will play an international against the USA in Chicago in November, despite having never played a test match in Fiji, Samoa or Tonga.

John Key is due to meet Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and expects the country's mutual love of the oval ball code will come up.

"Prime Minister Tuilaepa is mad-keen on rugby so I have no doubt he will raise the issue at some point. It's a nice thing if the All Blacks can come and play in Samoa to again reflect the closeness of the two countries and the huge number of Samoan players who have actually played for the All Blacks at some point but it's got to fit in with the schedule that the All Blacks have and it's got to be practical so I think it's a matter of if it happens rather than when it happens but obviously the timing of that is very much a matter for the All Blacks".