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All Blacks v Springboks centenary test faces venue switch

By Chris Jones
Joe Moody of New Zealand prepares to scrum against South Africa. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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The historic centenary test between the All Blacks and World champions South Africa is set to be switched to Perth due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 on planning for the Rugby Championship.

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The All Blacks are scheduled to play the Springboks twice in the Rugby Championship, with the first meeting in Dunedin on September 25 marking the 100th Test dating back to 1921 when one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport started. The second scheduled test with South Africa is set for Auckland’s Eden Park.

New Zealand’s strict Covid-19 border controls have already led to two championship Tests against Argentina being moved to Australia and NZR chief Mark Robinson said the South Africa matches could also be shifted. “We’d dearly love for those two games against the Springboks to be played here in New Zealand,” he told Sky Sports NZ.

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Jasper Wiese speaks about settling in with the Springboks

“We all recognise the significance of those games and the huge amount of importance they have on the legacy of the rivalry. We’re doing everything possible to make that happen and we haven’t given up all hope, but the reality is we’re living in challenging times.”

The All Blacks-Argentina matches will be played on September 11 and 18, and the Springboks games on September 25 and October 2.

Robinson said Perth was the preferred venue if the All Blacks had to play all four of their remaining Championship matches in Australia. The plan would then be for the All Blacks to launch their Autumn tour from Australia starting with a trip to Washington to play the United States, followed by a European tour including Tests against France, Italy and Ireland.

The first match played between New Zealand and South Africa was staged at Carisbrook in August 1921 with the All Blacks winning 13-5. The most recent meeting came in the pool stages of the 2019 Rugby World Cup with the eventual champion Springboks downed 23-13.

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All Blacks v Springboks centenary test faces venue switch

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