Wellington loses two tests, Auckland gets back-to-back games

The All Blacks will undertake an ambitious schedule which includes a European tour next year....
The All Blacks will play two tests against Australia in Auckland. Photo: Getty Images
The All Blacks will play the first two Bledisloe Cup tests at Eden Park, while Wellington will miss out on hosting any games this year.

The opening Bledisloe Cup game against the Wallabies remains at Eden Park this Saturday, and because of the pause in the trans-Tasman travel bubble, game two (which doubles as the Rugby Championship opener) will now also be played in Auckland a week later.

The game was originally scheduled for Perth on August 21st.

Sanzaar wanted the match to be played on a Saturday night, effectively ruling Wellington out as a venue with the Beervana event scheduled for next weekend.

Perth will now get the third game on August 28th, meaning Wellington loses its game originally scheduled for that date.

Wellington also loses the Rugby Championship game against Argentina on September 18th as the All Blacks will remain in Australia for their two games against the Pumas.

Auckland also loses a game: Eden Park was scheduled to host a test against Argentina on September 11.

The All Blacks are set to host the Springboks in two tests in Dunedin on September 25th and Auckland on October 2nd, but if the trans-Tasman travel bubble pause is extended beyond eight weeks, the All Blacks may have to play those games in Australia as well.

New Zealand Rugby have previously said they won't put the All Blacks or the Springboks through quarantine to come to Aotearoa from Australia, meaning if the pause is extended, those two teams won't be able to return to New Zealand for the scheduled two tests.

Fans who have purchased tickets for any of the three affected Tests will receive a full refund.

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said rescheduling the matches had been challenging, particularly having to move the two tests out of Wellington.

"While we are pleased to have some certainty around venues, we feel for our Wellington fans who will now miss out on two tests, " Robinson said.

"It's exciting to be in a position where the All Blacks and Australia can now prepare for two Bledisloe Cup tests in New Zealand and what promises to be two great weekends.

"When you consider what's going on around the world we are grateful to be able to host some test rugby and to be playing in front of what is going to be a bumper crowd at Eden Park this weekend."

"It is particularly disappointing we will not be able to play in Wellington this season and we share the disappointment of fans, the venue and the city, but at short notice following the closure of the travel bubble with Australia it just proved too difficult," Robinson said.

"It's also disappointing not to be able to host Argentina, but the eight-week pause to the trans-Tasman travel bubble meant it just wasn't possible to get the team into the country.

"Sky Stadium, Wellington Rugby and WellingtonNZ did everything they could to try and keep the test in Wellington, but ultimately we needed to play on Saturday 14 August and we had to make the difficult decision to shift the match to Auckland."

NZR has also confirmed cyber security solutions company Fortinet as the Rugby Championship's naming rights partner.

Comments

Bugger, Christchurch is missing out again.....

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