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New Zealand Rugby provides update on 2022 All Blacks home fixtures

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

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New Zealand Rugby [NZR] has provided an update on which cities will play host to the All Blacks for their home fixtures this year.

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The All Blacks are scheduled to begin their 2022 campaign with a three-test series against Ireland on Kiwi soil in July, which will be followed by the Rugby Championship campaign and an end-of-year tour of the northern hemisphere.

In a statement released on Monday, NZR said its board has made provisional recommendations about where in New Zealand the three tests against Ireland and the All Blacks’ home Rugby Championship fixtures should be played.

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As such, Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin will act as the three host cities for the Ireland series, meaning the All Blacks will open their season with consecutive matches at Eden Park, Sky Stadium and Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Eden Park will also play host to the Wallabies in a Rugby Championship clash that doubles as a Bledisloe Cup contest, with the return leg of this year’s two-test Bledisloe Cup series to be played in Australia.

Hamilton’s FMG Stadium Waikato and Christchurch’s Orangetheory Stadium, meanwhile, will be used to host Los Pumas in two Rugby Championship matches.

The match in Christchurch will be the first time the All Blacks have played there since 2016, when they trounced the Springboks 41-13 at Orangetheory Stadium.

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By hosting both Rugby Championship tests against Argentina in New Zealand, the All Blacks won’t face Los Pumas in Argentina this year.

By contrast, the All Blacks will play both of their Rugby Championship fixtures against the Springboks in South Africa, with no games against the reigning world champions to be played in New Zealand in 2022.

The South African Rugby Union announced last month that the Springboks would play host to the All Blacks in back-to-back tests at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and Ellis Park in Johannesburg in August.

Those tests will be the first time the All Blacks have travelled to South Africa since 2018, with Covid disruptions preventing the Kiwis from visiting the public since then.

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The test at Ellis Park will be the first the All Blacks have played in Johannesburg since they beat the Springboks there in 2015, while their match at Mbombela Stadium will be their first-ever test in Nelspruit.

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Following the Rugby Championship, the All Blacks will embark on a four-test end-of-year tour to the northern hemisphere, with clashes against Wales, Scotland and England all locked in.

The highly-anticipated contest with England will be the first the All Blacks have played against their northern rivals since their 2019 World Cup semi-final loss, while it will be their first match against Scotland since their 2017 meeting in Edinburgh.

One further test is expected to be added to that schedule, with NZR chief executive Mark Robinson last week suggesting that match may be played “on the way to the UK”, hinting at a potential fixture against Japan.

NZR also confirmed the Black Ferns will host Australia, the United States and Canada in Tauranga, Auckland and Whangerei in the Pac4 Series ahead of this year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

NZR is expected to confirm the dates and venues of this year’s All Blacks and Black Ferns tests in the near future.

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