New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has announced the All Blacks' 2024 test schedule will start against England in front of home fans at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, on Saturday, July 6, for the first of three tests.
The All Blacks will play England in a return match at Eden Park in Auckland a week later before rounding out a unique third leg of the series in a one-off rugby showcase in San Diego against fast-rising World Cup quarterfinalists Fiji. The All Blacks have played in San Diego once previously, against the USA in 1980.
Back-to-back tests against Argentina at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Saturday, August 10 and Eden Park on Saturday, August 17 will kick off an All Blacks Rugby Championship defence before back-to-back tests against the Springboks in South Africa. The Rugby Championship campaign concludes with Bledisloe Cup tests in Sydney on September 21, and Sky Stadium in Wellington on September 28.
There no tests for Hamilton or Christchurch, as the Garden City build their new stadium, so a homecoming test will have to wait for Robertson.
The 2024 campaign concludes with a Northern Tour that starts against Japan in Yokohama on October 26 and takes in four November tests against England, Ireland, France, and Italy.
“Playing England under the roof in Dunedin is a great start for us in a world-class stadium, and then we go up to Auckland where we have a great record that we are really proud of,” Robertson said.
“We then fly off to San Diego which is exciting in itself. The Fijians know their way around the world, and they’ll come out from everywhere. I know a lot of Kiwis will make the trip as well.”
Planning had already begun for the challenge that Argentina and Australia would present during the Rugby Championship while the tour to South Africa was expected to be another highlight, he said.
“We are playing up on the Highveld at Ellis Park and then down to Cape Town - they are iconic tests and I know a lot of Kiwis will be excited about that. It is a great chance to find out about ourselves against the world champions. It’s a chance to support us locally but also internationally. It’s also a chance to get behind this team and experience it with us, which is the exciting thing about it. And be proud to wear your All Blacks jersey no matter where we go.”
NZR CEO Mark Robinson said it was exciting to be taking rugby to North America.
“There is no better way to start the year on home soil. To have four of the first five tests of 2024 at home in Aotearoa in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland is a great result and we’re excited to be taking the All Blacks to San Diego to play Fiji.
It’s been a long-held ambition for New Zealand Rugby and part of our wider strategy to increase the visibility and understanding of rugby in North America and to build our brand presence ahead the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2031 and 2033 respectively."
All Blacks tests 2024
Saturday July 6, 7.05pm - All Blacks v England, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Saturday July 13, 7.05pm - All Blacks v England, Eden Park
Saturday July 20, 2.30pm - All Blacks v Fiji, SnapDragon Stadium, San Diego
Saturday August 10, 7.05pm - All Blacks v Argentina (Rugby Championship), Sky Stadium, Wellington
Saturday August 17, 7.05pm - All Blacks v Argentina (Rugby Championship), Eden Park
August 31, TBC - All Blacks v South Africa (Rugby Championship), Johannesburg
September 7, TBC - All Blacks v South Africa (Rugby Championship), Cape Town
September 21, TBC - All Blacks v Australia (Rugby Championship), Sydney
September 28, 7.05pm - All Blacks v Australia (Rugby Championship), Sky Stadium
October 26, TBC - All Blacks v Japan, Yokohama
November 2, TBC - All Blacks v England, Twickenham
November 9, TBC - All Blacks v Ireland, TBC
November 16, TBC - All Blacks v France, TBC
November 23, TBC - All Blacks v Italy, TBC