The Gallagher Chiefs will host the Blues in Waihī next month - the first time the Super rugby franchise has held a pre-season fixture in the town.
It will be the Chiefs only pre-season fixture in the lead up to their 2020 Investec Super Rugby campaign under new head coach Warren Gatland.
Chiefs Rugby Club chief executive officer Michael Collins said it was great to be able to provide Thames Valley Rugby Union and Waihī Athletic Rugby Club the opportunity to host the pre-season fixture.
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"It is fantastic to be able to take our only pre-season fixture to Waihī. Both Thames Valley Rugby Union and Waihī Athletic Rugby Club have been great to work with and will continue to play a vital role in the lead up to this fixture.
"Waihī Athletic Rugby Club hosted an Under 20s fixture between the Chiefs Under 20s and Blues Under 20s in 2018, so it is fitting they now get to host the two Investec Super Rugby sides in January."
Collins said Waihī was a great community and would be thriving in the January school holidays.
"We trust we will see the community join us and other fans throwing their support behind the Gallagher Chiefs," he said.
Thames Valley Rugby Union General Manager Brett Barnham said the event would be huge for the region and their provincial union.
"We are extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to host our Gallagher Chiefs and the Blues. It will be the first time our union and Waihī has hosted such a high-calibre game.
"It is recognition by the Chiefs Rugby Club, that Thames Valley Rugby Union alongside King Country Rugby Union are an important part of the franchise. It will be a huge event for Waihi and Thames Valley Rugby Union," he said.
Waihī Athletic Club spokesperson Matt Rolston said the club was working hard to prepare for the teams' arrival and that the community would be buzzing from the announcement.
"The Waihī Athletic Rugby club are honoured to host and welcome the Gallagher Chiefs to Waihī. It will be a fantastic occasion for the club and great for our wider community. The whole community will be buzzing knowing that the Gallagher Chiefs are coming to town and it will be great for locals to be able to see their Super Rugby stars up close and personal."
Rolston said a lot of work went on behind the scenes to keep their club and facilities to a very high standard.
"To have that hard work recognised with this game is hugely rewarding although there may be a few more extra hours going in over summer now to ensure the field is up to Super Rugby standard."
The fixture will kick off at 3pm on January 17, with tickets available to purchase from today.
Tickets will be free for all 2020 Gallagher Chiefs members who will be able to register online to redeem their free tickets before Sunday January 12.
For non-members, prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 14 years and free for children under 5 years.
2020 memberships are available to purchase here.
The Chiefs will kick off their Investec Super Rugby season against the Blues at Eden Park on Friday January 31. They will return home in round two to play the Crusaders in their first home game of the season at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday February 8.
Gallagher Chiefs vs Blues
Date: Friday January 17
Time: 3pm kick-off, 1.30pm gates open
Venue: Waihī Athletic Rugby Club, Waihī