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New Zealand Rugby confirmed late last week that Wales, under new coach Wayne Pivac, will be heading to New Zealand to play two tests in July next year. Scotland will also head this way for its first trip to New Zealand in 20 years and it will play just the one test.
The test venues have yet to be decided but Otago Rugby Football Union, in association with event company Dunedin Venues (DVML), has put its hand up to host a test.
Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley said the two organisations had combined to put in a tender to host a test. It was being considered at New Zealand Rugby board level and a decision on the test venues was expected to be made soon.
The national union called for application for hosting tests in 2020 and 2021, though which northern hemisphere union or unions are heading south in 2021 is yet to be revealed. England is a possibility.
There would also be the usual home internationals against Australia, South Africa and Argentina, as part of games in the rugby championship.
With new venues emerging such as Napier and Nelson, the fight to stage a test is expected to be strong but Forsyth Barr Stadium has the advantage of having a lot of high-value seating.
Wales last played here in 2016 when the third test was played at Forsyth Barr Stadium and the All Blacks ran out convincing winners.
Scotland last played in Dunedin in 2000, when the All Blacks won 69-20 at Carisbrook.
There is a change to the tests to be played in the middle of year in the southern hemisphere as the playing calendar has changed. Midyear tests have traditionally been held in June with Super Rugby put on hold for three weeks before resuming in July.
But from now on tests will take place in July so there will be no break for Super Rugby and it will play right through.
With the competition still sticking with 16 games next year, the Super Rugby competition may have a very early start in order to get finished before the tests are held in the first three weeks of July.