Wales v Tonga Test still in limbo

Date published: January 6 2017

The Test between Wales and Tonga in June is still without a venue as uncertainty remains over where the game will be played.

Wales are due to play two matches in the Pacific Islands, against Tonga and Samoa in June.

"There are still some things to iron out with Tonga, mainly that there isn't a pitch at the moment," said Wales Rugby Union CEO Martyn Phillips. 

"The stadium infrastructure is not in place so we are meeting with World Rugby again," Phillips added.

The Test against Samoa is scheduled for June 24 in Apia.

WRU representatives visited Tonga in December to look at the facilities, but there were no completed pitches in place and continued concerns about medical cover.

World Rugby said in October last year they needed to assess if the new pitch would be completed in time for a match to be played there. 

An alternative could be to play the game in Auckland, New Zealand.

"The facilities around it [the stadium] are nowhere near what you would need to host a game, although clearly Tonga are committing to get to that," Phillips said.

"It's not particularly good for anybody at this stage. The reason it's gone on is that we all desperately want to go there and play but the pitch is fundamental to that. The forecast is for it to be there by May, but you are getting close to the point at which it may not be.

"Our effort at the moment is to try and make it happen, but you've got to get to a point where you say is it or isn't going to happen? That needs to be pretty soon now.

"The contingency would be to play in Auckland. We have got an informal agreement with New Zealand, which we did last summer when we were over there, but we'd need to kick that into plan quite quickly."

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