Rugby

All Blacks to face France

2012-11-02 07:41
Steve Tew (File)

Wellington - The All Blacks kick off their 2013 home schedule with a rerun of last year's World Cup final as they host France at the same venue in June.

Unveiling their fixture for the new year, New Zealand revealed they will face last year's runners up in a three-match Test, starting on June 8 at Auckland's Eden Park, then in Christchurch on June 15 and New Plymouth a week later.

The All Blacks then play Australia in Wellington (August 24), Argentina in Hamilton (September 7) and South Africa in Auckland (September 14) to defend the Rugby Championship they won this year.

They end the home season with a Bledisloe Cup tie against Australia in Dunedin on October 19.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said the mercurial French promised to provide a stern challenge for the All Blacks as they seek to avenge last year's 8-7 defeat.

"I am sure fans will be especially excited about France returning to Eden Park on June 8 for their first match-up with the All Blacks since that pulsating encounter ... last October," he said.

Tew said it was the first time New Zealand had hosted seven home Tests since 2008.

ALL BLACKS HOME SCHEDULE FOR 2013 (

June 8 France Auckland

June 15 France Christchurch

June 22 France New Plymouth

August 24 Australia Wellington

September 7 Argentina Hamilton

September 14 South Africa Auckland

October 19 Australia Dunedin

Read more on:    nzru  |  steve tew  |  rugby
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