allblacks.com 09.Oct.2013Getty Images
Anticipation is building in the South for the All Blacks final home Test match of 2013, with a range of community activities planned in the lead-up to the Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, on Saturday, 19 October.
The All Blacks head to Dunedin on Tuesday next week after a well-earned break following their thrilling Investec Rugby Championship-winning Test victory over South Africa in Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
A range of activities have been organised for Test week, including an airport welcome for the bulk of the All Blacks squad on Tuesday morning, a trophy tour featuring the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby World Cups, including the Webb Ellis Cup, an All Blacks coaching clinic for teenage rugby players, a free public event in Balclutha and in-store public appearances by All Blacks players.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said: “The excitement in Dunedin is really building with All Blacks fans keen to provide a heroes’ welcome for the All Blacks after they retained the Investec Rugby Championship, while the Wallabies will be looking to continue the form shown after they pulled out their best performance in some time to overcome Argentina."
Mayor Dave Cull said “Dunedin is going to turn it on for one of the most eagerly awaited tussles in international rugby and will be ready to welcome fans from around New Zealand and across the Tasman.
“It’s great having the All Blacks in town for the final home Test of the year and I’m confident fans will be out in force all week showing their support for the returning champions.”
The iconic Bledisloe Cup and Rugby World Cups will be on display at a number of schools and public places throughout the region including the Botanic Gardens in Dunedin, Waikouaiti Event Centre, Oamaru schools, the Sports Hall of Fame and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
The visits also provide one of the last opportunities for people to have their photo taken with the Webb Ellis Cup before it leaves for England to be used in promotions for Rugby World Cup 2015.
With limited tickets now available, fans are encouraged to get in quick so they don’t miss out on tickets for the Test which is tracking towards a sell-out. Tickets are on sale through ticketdirect
The Dunedin Bledisloe Cup Test Week activities include:
Monday, 14 October
• Trophy display: 1:15pm – 2:15pm at Botanic Gardens, Opoho Road, Dunedin
• Trophy display: 3pm-5pm at Waikouaiti Event Centre, Main Road, Waikouaiti
Tuesday, 15 October
• Trophy display: 9am – 11.30am at Oamaru schools
• Bulk of All Blacks squad arrives: 10.45am at Dunedin International Airport
• Trophy display: 2pm – 4pm at Sports Hall of Fame, Dunedin Railway Station
Wednesday, 16 October
• Free public event in Balclutha featuring All Blacks and Otago ITM Cup players: 3.30pm – 5.30pm at 18 Glasgow Street
• All Blacks coaching clinic with invited teens at the Edgar Centre, Dunedin: 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Thursday, 17 October
• Trophy display: 4pm – 7pm at Toitu , Otago Settlers Museum, 31 Queens Gardens
Friday, 18 October
• All Blacks will meet fans courtesy of All Blacks Principal Partner adidas: 11.00am -12.00pm at Champions of the World, George St, Dunedin
• All Blacks will meet fans courtesy of All Blacks sponsor Rexona: 11.00am – 12.30pm at New World supermarket, 133 King St, Dunedin
Saturday, 19 October
• Breakfast with the Bledisloe Cup competition winners at Forsyth Barr Stadium. See odt.co.nz for details