The Māori All Blacks will visit Vancouver for the first time when they face Canada at BC Place Stadium in November.
The announcement was made early this morning at a special function in Vancouver. New Zealand Rugby’s Māori Rugby Board Chair Dr Farah Palmer welcomed the announcement.
"Having played in Toronto in 2013 and Calgary in 2003, we are excited to be returning to Canada with the Māori All Blacks, in what will be our first visit to Vancouver. This match is a great addition to the Māori All Blacks programme in 2017 – providing a wonderful opportunity to bring our special style of rugby, and Māori culture, to this amazing part of the world.
“New Zealanders can be proud of the mark this special team leaves when they visit another country – they represent the very best of New Zealand and rugby. Rugby in Canada is growing and it’s exciting to be able to show exactly why we love it so much back here,” she said.
The team’s third fixture for the year would be announced in the coming weeks, said Dr Palmer.
Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen said, “We are thrilled to be bringing back fifteens rugby to BC Place Stadium, where we’ve held three successful events in recent history and are set to host another HSBC Canada Sevens series in March. The Māori All Blacks are one of the most iconic and recognizable franchises in the world and we can’t wait to play them in front of some of Canada’s most passionate rugby fans."
Lynn Oldfield, Resident President/Commercial, AIG Canada said, “We are looking forward to presenting another historic match when the Māori All Blacks return to Canadian soil."
The match in Vancouver will be the first of a two-match end of year programme for the Māori All Blacks.
Canada will use the fixture to prepare for the next chance to qualify for the third largest sporting event in the world in January and February in a two-game series against Uruguay.
The Māori All Blacks v Canada match will be on Friday 3 November 2017.