Super Rugby will head to the Bay of Islands next year, with the Blues taking on the Hurricanes at the Kerikeri Domain in a pre-season match.

The game will be held on Friday February 4 to coincide with Waitangi Day celebrations during the long weekend.

The Far North District Council decided to host the match after an approach from the Blues to hold a match in the northern region of the Blues franchise, following the success of last year's provincial rugby match between Auckland and Northland in Kerikeri.

Far North Mayor Wayne Brown said the game is expected to attract visitors to the Bay of Islands and encourage them to stay over to take part in the Waitangi Day celebrations as well.

"It will provide a chance for young rugby enthusiasts to meet elite level rugby players and increase economic opportunity in the district with the potential for the grandstand, fence and portaloos to be used for a weekend event on Saturday or Sunday," he said. "It's great that we have another game in our sights and I hope they become a more regular feature."

Blues chief executive Andy Dalton said playing a local derby in Northland at that time of year is a fantastic opportunity for both the players and the Far North community.

"Northland is an important part of our franchise and enjoying the summer weather during a special time of celebration will provide the perfect backdrop for the team to mix with the locals and for everybody to enjoy some pre-season rugby in what will be a massive year for rugby."

A 4000 seat grandstand will be erected with tickets at $30 each, and corporate commitments will be met through a proposed 300 seat extension to the Domain Pavilion. Remaining spectators will stand around the grounds.

- NZ HERALD STAFF