Rugby: Waikato and Fiji age-group teams to meet

An invitational Waikato Under 21 team will have a rare international fixture next week against the Fijian Under 20 team at Te Awamutu's Albert Park.

The match, which kicks off at 7.30pm on Wednesday, is part of the Fiji Under 20 preparations for the upcoming 2016 World Rugby Under 20 Championship in England.

Waikato Rugby Union jumped at the request from Fiji to host the game, and sees it as a chance to expose those players who have recently left the academy system to a higher level of rugby.

WRU director of rugby Leon Holden, who will coach the Waikato Under 21 team alongside WRU emerging players manager Kent Currie, is excited about the one-off fixture.

"This is a great opportunity for us to give an important age group of players game time at a higher level to gauge where they are at. It will also provide a chance for some players who have recently moved to the province to make their mark," Holden said.

"The match will give our New Zealand Under 20 hopefuls another game to impress the selectors and at the same time help our Pacific neighbours who have a heavy influence on rugby in the Waikato, particularly on the club scene."

The selection of players will be confirmed early next week with the spread to be evenly across the premier and division one clubs so there is minimal disruptions to those teams as they work into their seasons.

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