All Blacks schedule under scrutiny - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All Blacks schedule under scrutiny

18/05/2010 08:47:28 AM Comments (0)

The All Blacks' international playing schedule should see fewer fixtures from 2012, New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew said on Tuesday.

Speaking after the fourth Bledisloe Cup match this year was confirmed for Hong Kong on October 30, Tew said the NZRU was aware of the demands the international schedule placed on players.

"There's no doubt we are pushing the limit in terms of the number of games we ask these guys to play in a year, and we are very mindful of that," he said.

"I think once we get through this year and next year's World Cup, we'll be planning on playing less tests from 2012 onwards."

This will be the third season Australia and New Zealand have supplemented their three Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations clashes by playing an additional fixture. In 2008, the teams met in Hong Kong, with a 19-14 victory to the All Blacks, and last year travelled to Tokyo, where New Zealand won 32-19.

Tew said that following Argentina's confirmation for next year's Tri-Nations, it was "highly improbable" a fourth Bledisloe Cup match would be played in the future.

The All Blacks had a huge fan base in Asia, he said.

"The enthusiasm from the Hong Kong union and the people up there to have us back is an indication of that, and we're looking forward to the opportunity of playing there," Tew said.

He said this year's Hong Kong match was well placed in terms of the All Blacks' Grand Slam tour to Britain, which begins with a test against England in London on November 6.

Bledisloe Cup series: July 31, Melbourne; August 7, Christchurch; September 11, Sydney; October 30, Hong Kong.

Grand Slam tour tests: November 6, v England, London; November 13, v Scotland, Edinburgh; November 20, v Ireland, Dublin; November 27, v Wales, Cardiff.

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