Samoa PM backs All Blacks test

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Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says his country would welcome the All Blacks playing a test there as Samoan rugby players need the international experience.


Arriving in Samoa at the start of his Pacific Mission, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he favoured the idea.


Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also the head of the Samoan Rugby Union, told a news conference on Monday a lack of international matches was a major problem for Pacific teams.


“We come often to your very cold climate and shiver as we play and we would like the All Blacks to come here, enjoy the sun and play.


Mr Key is also visiting Tonga and Niue this week, rather than attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Palau in July – considered too close to the September election.


He was attending Independence Day celebrations in the capital Apia on Monday.

Former Labour MP Shane Jones is part of the New Zealand delegation, in his first official duties as Pacific Economic Ambassador.

Samoa became independent on 1 January 1962 but celebrates its independence in June.

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