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Details of third Bledisloe Cup clash in Perth confirmed

By AAP
Rob Valetini of the Wallabies reacts during The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

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The Bledisloe Cup clash in Perth has been locked in for September 5 after days of wrangling between Rugby Australia, Rugby New Zealand and the AFL.

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The blockbuster showdown was all set to be played at Optus Stadium on August 28, but RA were left fuming when RNZ refused to fly the All Blacks to Perth earlier this month citing player welfare concerns.

That move sparked a fierce war of words between RA and RNZ, with Wallabies coach Dave Rennie saying he was left “bloody angry” at the last-minute backflip.

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The two organisations have been locked in tense negotiations ever since to try to find a window to play the match, but their hopes of September 5 hit a hurdle given the AFL had reserved Optus Stadium for the entire weekend.

The AFL appears increasingly likely to play finals in Perth that week, with Friday, September 3 and Saturday, September 4 their preferred options.

But the AFL also wanted the option of playing the game on the Sunday just in case a team needed the extra day to complete their initial seven-day quarantine period.

SANZAAR announced on Thursday that Optus Stadium has now been locked in for the Wallabies-All Blacks clash on September 5.

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The All Blacks will be without stand-in captain Sam Whitelock, scrumhalf Aaron Smith and flyhalf Richie Mo’unga due to paternity leave.

NZ lead the Bledisloe Cup series 2-0, but the match in Perth is set to be extra spicy given the simmering tensions that have emerged between the rugby powerhouses.

Rennie unloaded on NZR last week when it was announced they were keeping the All Blacks in NZ until the Rugby Championship schedule was sorted.

NZR didn’t want to send the All Blacks to Perth without players knowing what was to come after the match.

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“I just feel there’s only one of us who are interested in doing what’s best for the game,” Rennie said at the time.

“We’ve all made sacrifices to ensure that the games are played for the financial benefit of everyone and the good of the game.”

After the match in Perth, the remainder of the Rugby Championship series also featuring Argentina and South Africa will be played in Queensland.

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Details of third Bledisloe Cup clash in Perth confirmed

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