Marvel Stadium to host 2020 Bledisloe Test and Wallaroos in Melbourne double-header

The Rugby Championship
by RUGBY.com.au staff

UPDATED: Winning back the Bledisloe Cup from his home nation will be "number one mantra" for new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, according to Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle.

And Rennie's first shot at breaking the 17-year Kiwi stranglehold on the giant silver urn will come in Melbourne next year, with Rugby Australia announcing on Monday a trans-Tasman double-header at Marvel Stadium in 2020.

With Sydney venues unavailable, the Wallabies last year played a memorable Test in Perth and in 2020 they'll play against New Zealand at the Docklands venue for the first time since 2010.


The Wallaroos will also take on the Black Ferns in their first ever Test in Melbourne.

The Bledisloe Cup clash and Wallaroos fixture in Melbourne is part of a deal between Rugby Australia and Visit Victoria that will see a Test match played in the city every year through to 2025, when one of the three clashes against the British and Irish Lions will also be held in the southern state.

The opening Bledisloe Cup game will be the first clash for new Rennie against his home country New Zealand, and fans will be hoping he can emulate the first-game result for the last Kiwi coach Robbie Deans in 2008, when Australia beat the All Blacks in Sydney.

The Wallabies haven't held the Bledisloe Cup since 2002, and winning back the prized trophy will be the highest priority for the new coach, said Castle.

"When you work with boys every day, be it athletes or players or staff, and the organisation, it’s so important that success comes with not only winning the Bledisloe but also working hard to retain it," Castle said.

"That’s what we are all searching to do and I know that will Dave’s no.1 mantra, and it is certainly Rugby Australia’s no.1 mantra."

New Zealand will also have a new coach, with Steve Hansen having stood down after the Rugby World Cup.

"They have a new Test coach as well so that’s going to be a great storyline as we play them," Castle said.

"The opportunity for it to be a double header which now is something we do every time we play the All Blacks, that’s important. And we know Melbourne will turn on a great show.

The last Bledisloe Cup Test played in Melbourne was at Marvel Stadium in 2010, and the last Wallabies game at the Docklands venue was a victory over France in June, 2014.

Marvel Stadium is a successful venue for the Wallabies, with 12 wins from their 15 Tests but they lost their only clash against the All Blacks there, going down 49-28 in 2010.

Prior to that, the Wallabies won two of their four Bledisloe Cup games at the MCG.

“Our Wallaby and Wallaroo double-header events in Australia have been extremely popular with fans in Sydney in Perth and we are looking forward to staging the first ever double-header in front of packed Marvel Stadium in Melbourne,” Castle said in a release.

“In 2019 we saw how much these events have captured the imagination of fans in both countries, with a sold-out sign at Optus Stadium in the west and again at Eden Park in Auckland a week later, and we expect there to be a lot of excitement in Melbourne to watch two fantastic Test matches. 

Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said they expected a strong crowd for the double header.

“Melbourne loves a big sporting event and the city has shown time and time again that it is a world class host. We can’t wait to get there in August next year,” he said in a release.

“Melbourne is the major events capital of Australia and the Bledisloe Cup certainly fits comfortably into that category.

“We’re excited to be welcoming the Bledisloe Cup to Victoria for the first time since 2010.

“Almost 30,000 people turned out at AAMI Park last year when the Wallabies hosted Ireland and we expect to top that at Marvel Stadium next August.”

Confirmed 2020 Home Fixtures

Qantas Wallabies 

 

2020 Ireland Series

Saturday 4 July, Qantas Wallabies v Ireland, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday 11 July, Qantas Wallabies v Ireland, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

 

2020 Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship 

Saturday 8 August, Qantas Wallabies v New Zealand, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne 

 

Buildcorp Wallaroos 

 

2020 New Zealand Series 

Saturday 8 August, Buildcorp Wallaroos v New Zealand, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne