All Blacks v Wallabies live in HK?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 10:41pm

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union confirmed yesterday it was in advanced negotiations to host a test match between New Zealand and Australia next year. It would be the first top-tier rugby international to be staged in Hong Kong.

The HKRFU said it had been in contact with the Australian Rugby Football Union, which in turn was working with the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, on organising it.

'The New Zealand and Australia unions are currently putting together their international calendar for next year and a game in Hong Kong is a strong possibility,' said HKRFU commercial manager Warrick Dent.

'There's still a lot to sort out yet but negotiations are going positively so far. Nothing is signed, sealed and delivered and it will be a few months before anything will be finally confirmed. But if everything goes to plan, it will be a great event to stage in Hong Kong.'

The popularity of the Hong Kong Sevens tournament, which is one of the highlights of the international calendar, was a major incentive to stage the game here, with the match also set to be played at Hong Kong Stadium, Mr Dent said.

November next year has been pencilled in as a possible date for the match. Its timing will depend on whether the New Zealand union is prepared to add an extra game to the All Blacks' European tour.

New Zealand plays England, Ireland and Wales in Europe next year on dates to be decided, but is also seeking to play Scotland and another European team. The Wallabies finish the year with tests against England, France and Italy on their European tour.

'Because the All Blacks and the Wallabies have to finalise their schedule for next year and you have to take in the factor of player welfare, it will be some time before we know anything for sure but, fingers crossed, everything will work out satisfactorily,' Mr Dent said.

The match would be an official test, but would not be part of the 2008 Bledisloe Cup or Tri-Nations series.