Bledisloe in Asia to continue this year - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bledisloe in Asia to continue this year

by Adrian Warren 05/01/2010 08:34:57 PM Comments (0)

Australia is highly likely to play a Bledisloe Cup match in Asia again this year, but it will almost certainly be the last time the Wallabies and All Blacks clash four times in a calendar year.

In the last two seasons, Australia and New Zealand have supplemented their three Tri-Nations clashes by playing an additional fixture.

In 2008, the teams met in Hong Kong and last year they travelled to Tokyo.

The Wallabies schedule for the latter half of this year has still to be finalised, but the Australians are expected to again face their oldest foe on neutral territory.

"I'm not sure whether it will be Hong Kong or Tokyo, but it's highly likely there will be a fourth Bledisloe," Australian Rugby Union chief executive and managing director John O'Neill told AAP.

"This will probably be the last time, but we've been very happy with our experience in Hong Kong and Tokyo the last two years and one more trip to Asia would be, I think, a good idea for us and I think New Zealand agree."

With a World Cup looming in 2011 and Argentina's anticipated inclusion in a four-nation southern hemisphere tournament from 2012, the trans-Tasman rivals will have fewer opportunities to play each other in the future.

O'Neill said under the likely schedule for the four-nations tournament, Australia and New Zealand would only play each other twice instead of three times under the current format.

However, O'Neill didn't rule out the Bledisloe rivalry continuing on neutral territory.

"We still may play an extra Bledisloe, but instead of being a fourth one, it may be a third one," O'Neill said.

He said South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby (SANZAR) were hopeful of announcing, by the middle of this year, confirmation of Argentina's participation in the major southern hemisphere international tournament.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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