All Blacks to play in Christchurch in 2018

It’s good news for Christchurch rugby fans – the city is on the All Blacks 2018 playing schedule.

The New Zealand Rugby Union today announced the All Blacks will play against Canterbury and Otago in a Game of Three Halves on Friday 10 August 2018 – in a South Island first. The popular event, which is used to prepare the All Blacks for the Investec Rugby Championship, has only ever been held in the North Island previously.

Canterbury Rugby Football Union, ChristchurchNZ, V-Base and the Christchurch Stadium Trust have worked together to secure the event for the city. There are no All Black test matches scheduled in Christchurch in 2018 and 2019 – making Game of Three Halves the only concrete opportunity for locals to see the All Blacks play in the city for at least the next two years.

The All Blacks will play 40-minute matches against Canterbury and Otago, who will also play a 40-minute match against each other – a total of 120-minutes of entertainment.

ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Attraction Linda Falwasser says getting the All Blacks to play in Christchurch is great news for residents, as well as for rugby fans across the South Island.

“We are excited to be involved in delivering an event like this for the people of Christchurch and know that they – as well as fans from all over the Mainland – will turn out in their thousands to watch their national and provincial heroes do battle.

“Ticket prices have been kept low – at traditional pre-season levels – to ensure the game is affordable and to make sure everyone has the chance to see the All Blacks in action.”

The matches are not being broadcast on TV, so the only opportunity fans will have to see the All Blacks play in the city this year will be live at AMI Stadium in Addington.

Linda confirmed all three teams will meet with fans for autographs and photos after the final whistle blows.

“It’s events like this that add to the rich social tapestry of our city and ignite the bold ambitions of the next generation to strive and achieve their personal goals.”

She says this game is an opportunity to showcase why Christchurch should be firmly placed on the annual playing schedule of our national team, and included as a host city when international teams visit the country.

• Game of Three Halves will be held at 6.30pm on Friday 10 August at AMI Stadium. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children and will go on sale to the public from Monday 30 April at www.ticketdirect.co.nz