New Zealand locks in Bledisloe fixtures

New Zealand Rugby has confirmed the dates and venues for the first two Bledisloe Cup Tests between the All Blacks and Wallabies in New Zealand in October.

The All Blacks will face the Wallabies in the first Test of the series at Wellington’s Sky Stadium on Sunday, 11 October, with the second Test confirmed to take place a week later at Eden Park in Auckland on 18 October.

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This comes after the New Zealand government eased the isolation and quarantine restrictions to allow the Wallabies to come into the country and prepare for the Test matches.

Under the new government guidelines, the Australia squad will be able to train fully as a squad four days after arriving in the country, dependent on all squad members returning a negative Covid-19 test on day three.

‘We’re delighted to lock in the dates and venues for the two home matches against Australia and look forward to seeing the Bledisloe Cup go on the line next month,’ NZR CEO Mark Robinson said.

‘We acknowledge that this has been a complex and challenging puzzle to solve and we’re grateful that both rugby organisations, together with our government, have come together to get these matches across the line.

‘We’re also pleased that the All Blacks team and management now have certainty and can plan accordingly, and we wish them all the very best for the Bledisloe Cup campaign.’

Both matches will be kicking off at 3:30pm in New Zealand, which will mean an early 5:30am start for South Africans wishing to tune in to the Test matches.

‘Our fans both here in New Zealand and around the world have long been looking forward to the resumption of international rugby and we’re excited to finally lock the details into the calendar,’ Robinson added.

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Robinson said confirmation of the Bledisloe Cup dates meant there would be a change to the Mitre 10 Cup schedule for both Bledisloe Cup weekends, and NZR would be working with provincial unions regarding these changes.

The All Blacks have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003.  In the last two matches against Australia in last year’s Bledisloe Cup matches the Wallabies won 47-26 in Perth before the All Blacks bounced back to win 36-0 in Auckland the following week.

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Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images