The Bledisloe Cup test between Australia and New Zealand scheduled for Melbourne this year has been switched to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rugby Australia said on Monday. The annual three-match Bledisloe Cup series is normally contested as part of the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship, which also includes South Africa and Argentina.
Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium was due to host a Bledisloe Test for the first time since 2010 as part of a doubleheader involving both countries’ men’s and women’s sides this year.
“Victorians are sticking together as the state works to slow the spread of coronavirus and it’s not possible to play this match in 2020,” RA’s interim chief executive Rob Clarke said in a statement.
“The decision to swap the All Blacks Test to 2022 is a sensible one and I thank Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Government for their flexibility and support.
“Rugby Australia will continue to support the Victorian Rugby community over the coming months.
“There is an exciting Test schedule ahead for all of our Victorian Rugby fans and I know that the Wallabies players, as well as players from around the world, are always extremely excited to play in Melbourne due to the terrific home support and the wonderful hospitality of all Victorians,” Clarke said.
Melbourne will also host a test in July next year.
Victoria, which accounts for about 75% of the country’s total infections of 26,320, extended a hard lockdown in its capital Melbourne until Sept. 28, as the daily infection rates had declined more slowly than hoped.
The All Blacks have held the Bledisloe Cup, the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy, since 2003.
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