Rugby: Maori All Blacks to play Munster in Ireland

Charlie Ngatai playing for the Maori All Blacks. Photo / Getty
Charlie Ngatai playing for the Maori All Blacks. Photo / Getty

The Maori All Blacks will play Ireland's Munster in Limerick as part of a northern tour that kicks off with the already announced Chicago fixture against the USA Eagles.

The Maori All Blacks first play Munster at Thomond Park on Friday 11 November.

The team kicks off its 2016 tour by taking on the USA Eagles at Toyota Park Chicago on Friday 4 November in an historic double header 'Rugby Weekend' with the All Blacks playing Ireland at Chicago's famous Soldier Field stadium the following evening.

Maori Rugby Board Chairman Wayne Peters said the additional fixture was an exciting opportunity to take the Maori All Blacks style of rugby to the northern hemisphere.

"The Maori All Blacks is a unique team that represents a very special part of our culture, heritage and tradition in New Zealand. Any time the Maori All Blacks play overseas, they capture the imagination of fans with their exciting and entertaining style of rugby, together with their distinctive cultural identity.

"The Maori All Blacks players are great ambassadors for our culture so Irish fans will be in for a memorable rugby experience.

"The Maori All Blacks continue to play an important part in New Zealand Rugby's high performance strategy and this tour is another valuable opportunity for players to show their skills on the international stage and to press for higher honours."

Munster Rugby Chief Executive Garrett Fitzgerald said: "This is an exciting opportunity for the province and we welcome the chance to hopefully replicate previous marvellous occasions that we had when hosting the All Blacks and Australia in Thomond Park.

"In what will be a first encounter for these sides we are really looking forward to the fixture and would like to thank NZR and the IRFU for their efforts in bringing negotiations to a successful conclusion."

Thormond Park which was redeveloped in 2008 has since hosted the All Blacks and Australia.

Maori All Blacks 2016 Match schedule (kick off times TBC)
Friday 4 November v USA Eagles, Toyota Park, Chicago
Friday 11 November v Munster, Thomond Park, Limerick

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