NZ OK with Wallabies' starting at home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ OK with Wallabies' starting at home

By David Beniuk 20/05/2009 10:45:17 PM Comments (0)

Far from railing against a Bledisloe Cup game one advantage for Australia, New Zealand "quite liked" the idea of dates set in stone for the iconic series, the ARU says.

New Zealanders were left pondering on Wednesday whether the revamped Tri-Nations had seen ARU boss John O'Neill get one over the All Blacks early by securing the crucial first Bledisloe Cup game for Australia in each year of a proposed new TV deal.

"That was a mutual decision and a decision supported both ways," O'Neill's deputy Matt Carroll said on Wednesday.

"They quite liked the idea of the set dates as well and they saw the value that they will get because they will have, every second year, two Test matches in a row in New Zealand.

"So they probably saw a strategic rugby side of that opportunity.

"It was a win for everybody."

Under the proposal, Bledisloe I will go head-to-head with the AFL and NRL finals series each year on the first weekend of September.

Carroll said the decision had been a practical one to ensure the Tri-Nations teams were not overtaxed with their touring schedule.

"It was important to get some certainty around the Bledisloe Cup dates," he added.

"We felt the Bledisloe was strong enough to do it and we believe the Australian market on that first weekend in September every year from now on is strong enough to do that."

However, the future of the fourth Bledisloe match, played last year in Hong Kong and later this year in Tokyo, is uncertain.

"We'll probably review that post-Tokyo and it will probably become the case it won't be played every year," Carroll said.

"It may go out to every two years or three years.

"It's a special event which we take to cities around the world."

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