The All Blacks will perform the haka in Melbourne next year.
The All Blacks will perform the haka in Melbourne next year.

Bledisloe Cup win for Victoria’s rugby fans

Melbourne is set to stage a rugby blockbuster between Australia and New Zealand in another win for the state's economy and sporting reputation.

The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal Victoria has won the right to stage the Bledisloe Cup between the Wallabies and All Blacks at Marvel Stadium.

The Docklands venue will host the blockbuster match in August next year, with Australia's sporting capital landing the event ahead of interstate rivals.

It will be the first time a Bledisloe Cup has been played in Melbourne in 10 years, attracting fans from interstate and overseas for a trans-Tasman Test at the AFL-owned stadium during the footy season.

 

Kurtley Beale evades England’s Owen Farrell at Oita Stadium on Saturday night.
Kurtley Beale evades England’s Owen Farrell at Oita Stadium on Saturday night.

A Rugby Australia spokesman confirmed Melbourne would again play host to the Wallabies-All Blacks showdown.

"The Bledisloe Cup will return to Melbourne for the first time in a decade when the series opener is played there in August next year,'' the spokesman said.

"Both nations always attract strong support in Melbourne and we are looking forward to creating another slice of history after a sellout event at Optus Stadium in Perth's maiden Bledisloe Cup Test this year.''

It is believed Brisbane and Adelaide are in the race to secure the other Aussie game of the series with another match to be played in New Zealand.

The event is expected to pour millions of dollars into the state economy with thousands of visitors from all over Australia and New Zealand flying to Melbourne to join Victorians in the stands.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read holds up the Bledisloe Cup ... again!
All Blacks captain Kieran Read holds up the Bledisloe Cup ... again!

A sellout crowd of 51,409 packed then Etihad Stadium the last time the Bledisloe Cup was played in Melbourne as New Zealand thrashed Australia 49-28 in 2010.

A similar crowd will be expected next year as the Kiwis bring their famous pre-match haka to Melbourne to play rugby deep outside traditional rugby territory in AFL heartland.

An official announcement is expected as soon as this week, cashing in on the timing of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Victoria is also expected to host a British Lions tour match in coming years and is bidding to host future NRL State of Origin matches in Melbourne.

One of sport's great rivalries, the Bledisloe Cup has been played between Australia and New Zealand since the early 1930s.

It is believed the West Australian Government paid about $5 million to host the second match of this year's Bledisloe Cup at Perth Stadium in August.

Australia last won the Bledisloe Cup in 2002 with New Zealand holding a 48-12 win-loss record over the Wallabies.

The MCG staged Bledisloe Cup matches in 1997 and 98 and 2007.

peter.rolfe@news.com.au

News Corp Australia


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