Melbourne to host Bledisloe Cup Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Melbourne to host Bledisloe Cup Test

21/06/2009 06:10:05 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne will receive a better opportunity to show their rugby union interest in 2010 when the AFL-mad city hosts a Bledisloe Cup Test featuring the crowd-pulling All Blacks.

The Australian Rugby Union was disappointed with the 20,280 crowd which only just filled a third of Etihad Stadium on Saturday night when an experimental Wallabies outfit took on a second-string Italy.

With the Victorian Rugby Union in the running to gain a Super 15 license for an expanded competition in 2011, it hardly helped their cause.

But the ARU admitted there were reasons for the low crowd - down on the 26,000 that watched the 2005 Australia-Italy Test at the same venue - and felt it too early to judge whether it would have a detrimental affect on the VRU's Super rugby bid.

The last time the All Blacks visited Victoria, a crowd of almost 80,000 witnessed a Wallabies upset at the MCG in 2007.

The venue - either the MCG or Etihad Stadium - is yet to be decided for next year's trans-Tasman battle.

On top of the fact the world No.12-ranked Italians were never set to capture the public's imagination, an ARU spokesman said ticket sales had suffered through several "mitigating factors".

"The Test match was originally to be held at Melbourne's new rectangular stadium, which is not yet completed," he said.

"There was also the challenge with the timing given there were two major international sporting events in Melbourne within three days (with the Socceroos match against Japan).

"Health precautions may have also kept away a number of interstate visitors."

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