Auckland Blues to play Super Rugby match in Samoa

Auckland (New Zealand) (AFP) - The Auckland Blues announced they will stage the first ever game of Super Rugby to be played in Samoa later this year.

The Blues said the match would be a 'home' fixture against the Queensland Reds in Apia on Friday, June 2.

Blues chief executive Michael Redman said the move was a way for the Auckland club to reward its strong Samoan following.

"Our Blues region is home to around 150,000 proud Samoans and we have 15 players in our team with Samoan heritage, along with our head coach Tana Umaga," he said.

The Waikato Chiefs played the first Super Rugby match in the Pacific islands last year, when they faced the Canterbury Crusaders in the Fiji capital Suva.

The All Blacks also played a Test against Samoa in Apia in July 2015, saying it was a gesture of thanks for the contribution the Pacific islands have made to New Zealand rugby.