Beer festival sends Wallabies back to Bledisloe graveyard

A beer festival in Wellington has forced the Wallabies to stare down two consecutive Bledisloe Cup tests at Eden Park in Auckland, a venue Australia has not won at since 1986.

The closure of the trans-Tasman travel bubble forced the fixture changes, and the unavailability of Sky Stadium in Wellington forced the back-to-back games in Auckland.

No Wallabies squad member was alive when Australia last won a Test at Eden Park, where the All Blacks have won 20 straight against Australia.

But New Zealand Rugby officials said they had no choice but to shift the games, with the one and only Australian Bledisloe Cup match to be staged in Perth on August 28.

“Circumstances are out of our hands with what’s happened at the borders,” NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said.

The All Blacks like to feast on the Wallabies at Eden Park. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“That’s not something we have been able to influence.”

An existing booking for a craft beer festival in Wellington on August 14 meant NZR would have had to play on Sunday if they were to play in the capital.

“The game would have had to be played quite late … when we weighed up all the different moving parts this is where we ended up,” Robinson said.

Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos said changes in the circumstances meant some big compromises.

“It’s never an easy decision to adjust a schedule,” he said.

“The recent trans-Tasman bubble closure, New Zealand health orders and state border closures and lockdowns have forced us to make a number of changes, but we’re incredibly excited about the schedule ahead.”

The Bledisloe Cup Test will now be played on Sat 28 (instead of 21) Aug at 6pm AWST. Head to https://t.co/mEmNsffgl5 for ticket transfer and refund info.#[email protected]@CadburyAUpic.twitter.com/yn7WCwMbxL

Marinos said the draw for the Rugby Championship, with Argentina and South Africa headed to both Australia and New Zealand, was still being worked on given the Covid situations in both NSW and Queensland.

“ It goes without saying that we will continue to work with the respective health authorities around Australia to ensure all events are safely delivered for fans, players and officials,” he said.

2021 Bledisloe Cup Series

New Zealand v Wallabies, Saturday, August 7 at Eden Park, Auckland at 5.05pm AEST

New Zealand v Wallabies, Saturday, August 14 at Eden Park, Auckland at 5.05pm AEST

Wallabies v New Zealand, Saturday, August 28 at Optus Stadium, Perth at 6.00pm AWST

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