Reports from New Zealand suggest that a significant change to the global Test calendar will reduce the number of Test matches between the All Blacks and Wallabies from 2022.
According to Stuff.co.nz, the one-sided Bledisloe Cup series will be reduced from three Tests each year to just two, starting in this year.
Historically, the Bledisloe Cup has been played as a three-Test series since 2006 – except in World Cup years – and has sometimes been stretched to four Tests.
The series is one of the most famous on the Test calendar, but it has been dominated by the All Blacks, who have held the trophy since regaining it from the Wallabies in 2003.
Subsequently, the appetite to see the two nations play each other three times in a year has dwindled.
New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia had previously discussed reducing the number of Tests, but were locked into a 10-year contract, which expired in 2021, when the All Blacks hosted back-to-back Tests at Eden Park. In the second of those Tests, the All Blacks claimed a 57-22 victory at a half-full stadium.
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