All Blacks to play at least one match before Lions tests

The first test is on June 24th in Auckalnd

BY Simon Maguire 12:45 Thursday 23 March 2017, 12:45 23 Mar 2017

The New Zealand team perform the haka. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The New Zealand Rugby Union have confirmed that the All Blacks will get at least one run out before the first test against the Lions in June.

New Zealand's last match was against France in Paris on 27th November and the move is to ensure the hosts aren't caught cold when the test series begins.

Unlike previous tours where the vast majority of the test team has been rested, the All Blacks' management confirmed last year that the Super Rugby teams would "be loaded with All Blacks" during the early matches of the tour.

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

The opponent has yet to be decided but it is expected to be a Pacific Island nation. 

The series kicks off on the 3rd June. 

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