New Zealand, Australia to play test in Yokohama

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand Rugby has confirmed the third Bledisoe Cup test between the All Blacks and Wallabies will be played in Yokohama, Japan.

The Oct. 27 match will be the second between New Zealand and Australia to be played in Japan after their 2009 Bledisloe Cup clash in Tokyo.

”The 2009 match was a fantastic event this year’s test at the 72,000-seat stadium in Yokohama will be at another level,” said New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. ”The All Blacks have huge support in Japan so the Bledisloe Cup test will be important for the team as we build support ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019.”

New Zealand will play a test against Japan on the following weekend, Nov. 3, at Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium.

The All Blacks will also open their 2019 World Cup schedle against South Africa in Yokohama.

Australia Rugby chief executive Raelene Castle said winning back the Bledisloe Cup from New Zealand was Australia’s current top priority.

”There’s no doubt we need to win the Bledisloe Cup,” Castle said. ”Until we win the Bledisloe Cup, it won’t be seen as a successful Wallaby season, so that’s No.1 on our priority list.”