ORFU chasing test against Wales

The Otago Rugby Football Union has confirmed it wants to host a Welsh test next year, which would mean all major international teams had played at Carisbrook.

The union is reviewing Saturday night's test against the French and now has its eyes on a Welsh test, although it has not received any indication it will get the match.

ORFU chief executive Richard Reid said he was thrilled with the weekend apart from the result, with the French winning 27-22.

The ground sold out on Friday with a capacity crowd of 28,500, and the match was played in fine conditions.

He said organising a committee which helped oversee the promotion of the test worked as it got all the key stakeholders such as Tourism Dunedin and the Dunedin City Council involved.

"Dunedin always does the test well and I think having that group together really makes everyone on the same page.

"It gives everyone a sense of ownership," Reid said.

Dunedin's relatively small population helped, and it would be hard for anyone in Dunedin not to have had some interaction with rugby during the weekend.

The sell-out was a great message to send to the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The test this Saturday in Wellington against France was yet to sell out and ticket sales were slow for the test against Italy in Christchurch on June 27.

The idea of selling tickets exclusively to those south of the Waitaki River had worked well, even more than last year, Reid said.

"Perhaps this year, with the recession biting, not as many people travelled as they couldn't afford that tank of gas or the extra food or the night's accommodation."

He did not know the percentage of sales to people in the South but felt a large section of the crowd came from within the Highlanders region.

Reid confirmed the union would be looking to put in a tender for the Welsh test and with it likely to be the last test at Carisbrook, it would be a dream to promote.

An NZRU decision was likely later in the year.

"That would be a great way to send out the old lady."

The new Forsyth Barr stadium is scheduled to be opened by the 2011 World Cup.

A Welsh test would mean every major rugby nation would have played at Carisbrook.

Reid said it was frustrating, but understandable, that there was a lot of support for the All Blacks, yet not many people attended Highlanders and Otago games.

"I think that comes down to a sort of tribalism that only really exists at the All Black level.

"Also, the All Blacks have been successful for a long time, while our teams have struggled lately.

"It has been shown if the teams are winning people will come."

He said the test would put about $300,000 in the union's coffers

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