All Blacks 2021 Test schedule confirmed

by AAP

The All Blacks could play as many as 15 Tests next year, including a European tour, as NZ Rugby looks to return to pre-pandemic normality.

New Zealand will host Italy for two matches and Fiji for one in mid-year Tests in Aotearoa.

NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said he wanted three Bledisloe Cup Tests, in addition to the Rugby Championship commitments with Australia, Argentina and South Africa.

The world No.3s are then hoping to head on their first European tour since late 2018, teeing up matches with Ireland, France and Italy.

"We're looking at games on either shoulder of that fixture list in November or potentially two games before our first game in Europe against Italy," Robinson said in Wellington on Thursday.

"There's a whole number of interested parties that we're talking to around those possibilities."

All fixtures will be dependent on border restrictions.

No decisions have been taken on the format and hosting of the Rugby Championship, which was remodelled as an Australia-hosted tournament in 2020.

COVID-19 also forced South Africa to drop out of the competition at the last minute.

The All Blacks-Fiji clash will be keenly anticipated; the Pacific Islanders haven't played against New Zealand since 2011.