Wed 31 Jan 2018 | 07:43

Why Bledisloe Cup is heading to Japan ... again

Why Bledisloe Cup is heading to Japan ... again
Wed 31 Jan 2018 | 07:43

Why Bledisloe Cup is heading to Japan ... again


It was confirmed that Bledisloe III will take place on October 27 at the 72,000-seater International Stadium in Yokohama near Tokyo, where the Rugby World Cup final will be staged on November 2, 2019.

The move is part of Japan's efforts to build support ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

It will be the second clash between the pair in Japan, after the All Blacks beat Australia 32-19 in Tokyo in 2009.

The head of the Japanese Rugby Union, Tadashi Okamura, said: "It's our great hope that this match will build momentum towards Rugby World Cup 2019."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who is in Japan touring facilities, said this match – and a fixture the following week against the Brave Blossoms in Tokyo – would give his side valuable experience before the World Cup.

"It will give the team a chance to have a really good 'dummy run' of the facilities and experience the unique Japanese culture," said Hansen.

The first Bledisloe Cup Test will be played in Sydney on August 18, with the return match a week later at Eden Park in Auckland.

New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew expresswed his "delight"with the decision to move it to Tokyo.

"The last match, in 2009, was a fantastic event, but this year's Test will be at another level,"Tew said.

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Why Bledisloe Cup Is Heading To Japan ... Again - New Zealand | Rugby365