Internationals NZ anzac test



New Zealand has been fully restored as an international rugby league destination with Christchurch's AMI Stadium today confirmed to stage the Anzac Test on May 6 next year. It will be the first time in 13 years that the early-season international between the Trans-Tasman rivals has been played in New Zealand and it will also end a five-year wait since Christchurch last staged a rugby league Test.

"We're excited that our world champion Kiwis will have the chance to play an Anzac Test in front of their home crowd," said New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Jim Doyle.

"We're also thrilled to be able to take international rugby league back to the South Island. "This all builds on the Four Nations being played here at the end of the season, giving New Zealand rugby league fans throughout the country more chances to see the Kiwis play at home than they've had in years.

"In the space of a little more than six months, the Kiwis will now play five Tests at home while we're also staging England's match against Papua New Guinea in this year's Four Nations.

"While this is a great opportunity to see the world's best players in action in our own backyard we now need the public's support to ensure the Kiwis continue to play at home as often as this in the years to come."

The last time the Kiwis played in Christchurch was against Great Britain in the 2006 Tri Nations. The only previous time the Anzac Test has been played in New Zealand was the 1998 encounter at North Harbour Stadium when the Kiwis won 22-16, the only time they have prevailed in the traditional encounter since it was introduced in 1997.

"While it is valuable for us commercially to play the Anzac Test in Australia, we were always keen to bring it here again and we're delighted we've reached agreement to make it happen in 2011," said Doyle.

Since the 2006 Tri Nations, the Kiwis have played only three Tests on New Zealand soil - the 2007 Centenary Test against Australia in Wellington as well as one-off Tests against Tonga in Auckland in 2008 and Rotorua last year.

Following today's announcement a total of six rugby league internationals will now be played in New Zealand from October 16 this year to May 6 next year.

The run starts with the historic first-ever Test between the Kiwis and Samoa in Auckland on October 16, which was also confirmed only this week.

It's followed by the Kiwis' three matches in the Four Nations including their encounter with Australia which will be the feature event when Eden Park stages a double-header on November 6. England and Papua New Guinea will play the curtain-raiser in what is set to be the biggest rugby league event in New Zealand in more than 20 years.

The Kiwis' clash against Australia on November 6 will be the first time the two sides have met on New Zealand soil in three years.

Tickets for the Four Nations games have just gone on sale and Doyle said interest had already been keen.


dam!!! this happens the year after i lived 5 mins walk away.. O well, im def going to it!! better book plane tickets