News24

Bledisloe Cup revamped

2011-05-07 06:12

Wellington - The All Blacks and Wallabies will contest the Bledisloe Cup over three Tests under a revamped format to take effect in 2012, the New Zealand and Australian rugby unions announced Saturday.

The new arrangement replaces the present system where the Cup, the symbol of trans-Tasman rugby supremacy, is contested as part of the Tri-Nations tournament which also involves South Africa.

From next year, the third and possibly deciding match will be hosted alternately between the two countries, following their home and away clashes in the Tri-Nations.

The first additional Bledisloe Cup Test will be hosted by Australia in October 2012 and there are no plans to take it to a neutral venue as has happened in recent years.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said the additional Test was part of a new All Blacks schedule which includes three Tests in June, the expanded Tri-Nations which takes in Argentina from 2012, and the end of year northern hemisphere tour.

"Our expectation, supported by feedback from our fans, is that a three-match Bledisloe Cup Series will be keenly followed and fits well into our season," Tew said.

Fan research in both Australia and New Zealand supported the Bledisloe Cup being contested over a three-match series, rather than two as it was for many years prior to the expansion of the Tri Nations, Tew added.

AFP

Comments
  • Scaramouche - 2011-05-07 08:21

    Not playing on neutral ground anymore, hmmm. I wonder if that experience has been dumbed due to dwindeling spectator numbers down under?

      PhreakOz - 2011-05-07 10:18

      Dwindling? Really? There were 7000 people at Cheetahs vs. Lions, and 17000 at Rebels Reds in Melbourne. You are right about recent years but in the current season Australia's probably second in terms of numbers in the gates after South Africa in general

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-05-07 11:07

      Australia's two home Bledisloe Cup matches last year attracted 50000 and 74000 spectators. The year before, the one match attracted 80000. Even though the Wallabies haven't won the Bledisloe Cup for ages, they have no problem with attracting spectators to their games.

  • Crusaderinvader - 2011-05-07 08:34

    Outside of the WC this is the trophy that means the most to Kiwis..get rid of the 4th match as it had given Aussie very little chance of taking it back, as they'd have to win 3/4..that's unlikely. Also 4 games a year is overkill, 3 makes way more sense..so many classic matches

      Capey - 2011-05-07 09:05

      Umm, this is barely a competition. The All Blacks thump the ozzies every year. Historically, it is also one way traffic. No wonder spectator numbers are down in oz. The AB's would be better off getting a real fight from France or SA in a tournament, rather than the ever weaker ozzies.

      Crusaderinvader - 2011-05-07 09:17

      The aussies give us the same amount of fight as the boks if not more, they did beat us last season!!.. these games make for much more attractive free flowing rugby with two like minded sides showing their stuff..part of the reason interest has waned in aussie is simply because their chances of lifting it have been slim with the 2 or 4 match formats..that will all change when they win it next time!!

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