Etihad Stadium hosts Bledisloe Cup
Etihad Stadium hosts Bledisloe Cup
Tuesday 20 Jul 2010

The Qantas Wallabies will play the All Blacks at Etihad Stadium on Saturday July 31, 2010, as part of the Bundaberg Rum Tri Nations series.

SANZAR today confirmed the draw for the triangular tournament involving the three highest-placed countries on the official IRB world rankings.

The Qantas Wallabies will open their six-match Bundaberg Rum Tri Nations campaign on home soil, playing the world champions South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 24 July.

The match will be the Springboks’ third in succession on the road after opening their tournament schedule with two games against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

Two weekends after tackling the South Africans in a Mandela Plate match, the Qantas Wallabies will play the All Blacks at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Saturday, 31 July – their fourth Bledisloe Cup match in the Victorian capital since 1997.

From Melbourne the Australians will travel to Christchurch for a third match in as many weeks, taking on the All Blacks in the city where Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans retains iconic status for his Super Rugby successes with the Crusaders.

After a week off, the Qantas Wallabies will be back in action with back-to-back games against the Springboks in South Africa – and both Tests will be at altitude.

Australia’s record on the high veldt has been hugely unimpressive in the 76-year history of Tests between the two nations in the Republic.

The Wallabies have won only two of 17 matches played at Johannesburg, Pretoria or Bloemfontein.

The last of those two victories was in 1963 in Johannesburg.

The Qantas Wallabies in 2010 will play the Springboks in Pretoria on Saturday, 28 August, and in Bloemfontein on Saturday, 4 September.

Adding to their challenge, the Qantas Wallabies will then fly home and, without a week’s break, take on the All Blacks in the Tri Nations finale.

The Bledisloe Cup match on Saturday, September 11, will be played at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Referring to the back end of the Bundaberg Rum Tri Nations draw, Deans said it offered a significant degree of difficulty but also opportunity.

“It’s challenging in some ways but it will be what we make of it at the time,” said Deans.

“There is no point in sweating the small stuff.

“You go with what you’re given and you make the most of it, and this group will be aiming to do something special.”