All Blacks to host back-to-back Bledisloe Tests
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Wallabies face playing two consecutive Bledisloe Cup Tests in New Zealand before taking on the All Blacks in Perth in a condensed Test schedule to accommodate COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Australia were set to take on the All Blacks in Auckland on August 7, then Perth on August 21 and then Wellington for the third Cup clash on August 28.
While plans still need to signed off, the Wallabies are now likely to play Tests in New Zealand on August 7 and 14, before flying to Perth for the remaining match a week later.
Already chasing a Cup drought that dates back to 2002, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie emphatically ruled out playing all three Tests in New Zealand.
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“We’ve talked about being prepared to be flexible and play on the 14th in New Zealand so that’s one of the likely outcomes but there’s certainly no option to play all three Tests in New Zealand,” Rennie said on Sunday.
“It’s unlikely that the Wellington Test will be played on the 28th with us all going to Perth and then have to come back, so we could be playing seventh, 14th and 21st, with the last one in Perth.
“Nothing is confirmed, there’s a lot of tickets being sold for Auckland and Perth that’s probably set in concrete and it’s just whether both parties can make the 14th work.
“Our mindset is to win a Bledisloe in you have to win at least one in NZ to give us a chance in Perth so nothing changes really.”
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With the New Zealand government pausing the trans-Tasman travel bubble from next Friday for eight weeks, the Wallabies are set to get an exemption to fly from their Gold Coast base on that day to beat the deadline.
“We have been constantly COVID tested twice a week for the last few weeks and we’ll test again today, we’ll test again on Wednesday and likelihood is will travel Friday,” Rennie said.
“So we’ll be over there for eight days out from the first Test.”