Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kiwis lose out on Bledisloe timing

April 7, 2006

Greg Crowden at the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

AUSTRALIA has had the first success in this year's trans-Tasman battle after New Zealand failed in its bid to convince its SANZAR partners that the Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland should be moved forward a day. ...

The New Zealand Rugby Union has lobbied for months to get the schedule changed, because All Blacks team management did not want to play the game on a Saturday. The All Blacks travel to South Africa on the Sunday morning for two Tests, with management arguing there would not be enough turnaround time if the Bledisloe Cup game were played the previous night. ...

This decision will do nothing to improve the tense relationship between Australia and New Zealand, especially after Australian Rugby Union officials voted for Japan to stage the 2011 World Cup. New Zealand officials are still seething that Australia did not back its successful bid.

Australia is bound to be blamed in New Zealand for the All Blacks failing to get the cup moved. NZRU chief executive Chris Moller said last night that "faced with opposition from both its SANZAR partners and overseas broadcasters" the union had "very reluctantly conceded to the match being played on Saturday". ...

Nonetheless, Australia will be seeking New Zealand support when it approaches the International Rugby Board next week about its proposal to introduce a world series in which every second year the two top international teams would play for the title of the world's best.



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