New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew has confirmed the All Blacks will play at least one match, before this year's test series against the British and Irish Lions.

The multi-nation test team will take on the world champions in three tests in June and July, as well as seven other matches against Super Rugby clubs, the Maori All Blacks and a provincial Barbarians outfit.

It will be the first time the Lions have toured New Zealand since 2005.

Tew confirmed today that the All Blacks, who have not played together since November last year, would have a chance to shake out the cobwebs, before their first test in Auckland on June 24.


The union was yet to decide if that match would be against a test side, such as a Pacific Islands nation, or a Kiwi selection.

An internal All Blacks v All Blacks match, with extra players called in to make up the numbers, may also be on the cards.

"We know they'll always have some form of hit-out at some stage when we get into these short lead-ups," Tew said. "We're still giving it a little thought and the coaches have reflected on that over the past few weeks."

The All Blacks have also previously taken part in friendly "game of three halves" tournaments with two local provincial outfits.

Last year's game was held in Pukekohe with Counties Manukau and Northland.