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Kangaroos-Kiwis lock in another clash

27/04/2011 05:32:51 PM Comments (0)

Australia could play New Zealand four times in 2011 with the two nations to meet in a rugby league Test in Newcastle ahead of the end-of-season Four Nations tournament.

The October 16 clash at Ausgrid Stadium will complete a two-Test series between the two sides, with the first game to be held at Gold Coast's Skilled Park on Friday week.

Australia and New Zealand will head to the United Kingdom after the Newcastle encounter for the Four Nations involving England and Wales, where Australia and the World Cup-winning Kiwis are favoured to progress to the final after all four sides play each other in the preliminary rounds.

"The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand has never been stronger and a two-Test format will really showcase the prestige and excitement of international Rugby League," ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said in a statement on Wednesday.

After years of domination by the Kangaroos, the rivalry between the two sides has intensified in recent times with New Zealand winning three of their their last four finals against Australia - including the 2008 World Cup in Brisbane.

"The matches between New Zealand and Australia in the past few years have been enthralling and there is a real demand from the public on both sides of the Tasman to see more of it," NZRL chief executive Jim Doyle said.

"Rugby League in New Zealand has never been stronger and this will only continue to enhance the development of the game here."

Next week's Test had originally been scheduled to be played in Christchurch but was moved as a result of the February earthquake which devastated the region, with plans to hold a match there in 2012.

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