Former New Zealand and Samoa flanker Michael Jones has summed up the delight in the Pacific Island over the All Blacks visit.
Former New Zealand and Samoa flanker Michael Jones has summed up the delight in the Pacific Island over the All Blacks visit in 2015.
The long-time rumoured fixture was finally confirmed by the NZRU this week.
The All Blacks will travel to Apia in July next year as part of their Rugby World Cup preparations.
Jones, who was recently inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, says that the match will mean everything to the Samoan people after years of waiting.
“It's the ultimate game for Samoan rugby, Samoan rugby players and the Samoan community,” Jones told the NZ Herald.
“To be able to host the preeminent rugby world power… for Samoans it doesn't get any better.
“It's just going to lift a whole nation and their sense of feeling special – it's all wrapped up in this game and that it's finally happening after decades of waiting.”
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, also head of the Samoan Rugby Union, followed up celebrating the visit of New Zealand by calling on other leading nations to follow suit.
“It will be an historic occasion to have the All Blacks play in Samoa in July 2015,” he added.
“The rugby supporters of both countries will savour a unique event in Apia as the Manu Samoa will face the number one team in the world at home.
“I also challenge other tier-one nations to come and play the Manu Samoa at home.”