18 Feb 2017

Sport: Tonga-Wales rugby match won't be in Tonga

8:39 am on 18 February 2017

Wales' summer Test match against Tonga will be staged in another country after Welsh Rugby Union concerns over the suitability of the stadium in Nuku'alofa could not be satisfied.

Local church using the Teufaiva Stadium which is in need of renovations to host rugby test and Pac Games. Jan 2017

Photo: Breakthrough Church Tonga

The BBC reports the game is now likely to take place in Auckland on the 17th of June.

The Welsh rugby had expressed doubts over the readiness of Teufaiva Sport Stadium, which is being redeveloped.

Another concern was the availability of medical cover should a serious injury occur.

Delegations from World Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union visited Tonga in December to see whether sufficient progress had been made, but concerns remained that the pitch will not be fit for purpose.

The match is now likely to take place the day before the British and Irish Lions take on New Zealand Maori in Rotorua, while Wales' game in Samoa will go ahead as planned in Apia on 24 June.

The last time Wales toured the islands in the South Pacific was more than 20 years ago, in 1994.