History of the Bledisloe Cup
The first Test between Australia and New Zealand was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 15 August 1903 before a crowd of 30,000.
It was two years before the two countries met again when Australia toured New Zealand in 1905. World War I put a temporary end to the trans-Tasman rivalry. New South Wales sides faced New Zealand from 1920 – 1929 as the War took its toll on player numbers in Queensland.
In 1929 Australia won all three Tests in the series – a record that wasn’t repeated until 1998.
The shining silverware of the mighty Bledisloe Cup first appeared in 1931, when Lord Bledisloe, the then Governor General of New Zealand, presented the trophy to foster ties between the two countries. In doing so he established one of the most passionately contested sporting trophies in the world.
Before the advent of the Super 12 tournament it was variously a one, two or three Test competition. It wasn’t until 1934 that Australia won the first Bledisloe Cup, winning the first Test and drawing the second in a two test series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Australia had to wait until 1949 to record another Bledisloe win. The victory was made all the sweeter because it was the first win on New Zealand soil, with Australia winning both Tests.
It was a long thirty years until 1979 before Australia reclaimed the Bledisloe Cup in a single Test, which they reclaimed in 1980 for successive years, the first time since the competition began.
Over the years, the Bledisloe Cup Tests have featured some of the most defining and timeless memories in world Rugby history, including George Gregan’s try-saving tackle in 1994 and in 1998 when Australia, captained by the great, John Eales won the test series three to nil for the first time since 1929.
The Bledisloe Cup is one of the most highly esteemed in the international Rugby arena. The history and passion, rivalry and mateship surrounding each Test continues to hold plenty of meaning in the hearts and minds of both Australia and New Zealand players and fans alike.
History of the Bledisloe Cup Festival
The Bledisloe Cup Festival is set to return bigger and better in its second year, offering fans even more opportunity to celebrate one of the greatest rivalries in world sport, the Qantas Wallabies v the All Blacks.
Born out of a 10 year agreement between Australian Rugby Union and the NSW Government (through Destination NSW) the Bledisloe Cup Festival delivers a week long calendar of events in the build-up to the iconic Trans-Tasman showdown.
This year the Qantas Wallabies will face arch-rivals, the All Blacks, at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 17 August for yet another classic Bledisloe Cup encounter, as Australia continue their quest to win back the 9kg piece of silverware from the Kiwis for the first time in 11 years.
The 2013 Bledisloe Cup Festival will once again boast a huge line-up of events providing even more chances to learn and celebrate the history and the passion of the Cup that symbolises trans-Tasman Rugby supremacy.
To keep up to date with all the Bledisloe Cup Festival news and events follow @QantasWallabies on Twitter and use #BCFestival to be part of the conversation.