All Blacks set for 'game of three halves'
Canterbury rugby fans will have the opportunity to watch the All Blacks and the two National Provincial sides on on Friday, August 10, in a format consisting of three 40-minute games with each side playing the others once.
Canterbury Rugby Union CEO Nathan Godfrey was quick to acknowledge the team effort behind bringing the All Blacks back to Christchurch:
"When we received the news last year that Christchurch wouldn’t be awarded an All Black Test match for the next 2 years, we asked NZR and our city stakeholders to rally around the Canterbury rugby community and they’ve certainly done that. Without the support of ChristchurchNZ, V-Base, and the Christchurch Stadium Trust this game simply wouldn’t be possible.
"The game of three halves isn’t broadcast on TV so we’ve deliberately kept ticket prices low to allow families to see the All Blacks play live," Godfrey said.
The matches will allow the national side to prepare for the 2018 Rugby Championship, but Canterbury Head Coach Joe Maddock said the fixture will also provide his squad with valuable experience:
"This is a fantastic opportunity for our players to have a hit-out prior to the start of the representative season, and against some high-quality opposition.
"We are playing in the Cantabrians’ uniform, which means we might see a few club players in our squad and they’ll get to play 40 minutes against the All Blacks – that’s going to provide a great challenge for some of these young guys and will be dream come true for them, I’m sure," Maddock said.