Bledisloe Cup third Test to be played in Japan

New Zealand to take on Australia at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium.

Bledisloe Cup third Test to be played in Japan

In the run-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Yokohama will play host to what could be the decisive third Test of the Bledisloe Cup on 27th October.

New Zealand have chosen to move what would have been their second home fixture to Nissan Stadium in Yokohama - the venue for the World Cup final in 2019.

Australia and New Zealand last played on Japanese soil in 2009, with the All Blacks winning 32-19.

However, the Wallabies won the most recent overseas Bledisloe clash 26-24 in 2010 in Hong Kong and, after their near-miss in Dunedin and dead-rubber victory last year in Brisbane, will be even more hopeful of snapping their 15-year series losing streak.

"We are looking forward to returning to Japan in October for what will be an incredible event, with one of the greatest rivalries in our game being fought out a year before the same venue hosts the Rugby World Cup final," said Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle.

The Bledisloe opener will be played on 18th August in Sydney, with the return match a week later in Auckland.

The Wallabies will need to win at home - or pull off an unlikely upset at Eden Park - to keep the series alive in Yokohama.

New Zealand also have a Test match against Japan in Tokyo the following weekend.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is in Japan on a planning visit and fully supports the Bledisloe Cup move.

"It will be great for the team to prepare in two of the Rugby World Cup cities and play at the same venues," he said.

"As well as preparing for a huge Bledisloe Cup Test and another important Test against Japan, it'll also give the team a chance to have a really good 'dummy run' of the facilities, and experience the unique Japanese culture.

"We look forward to again being hosted by the Japanese later in the year."