The schedule for the 2021 Rugby Championship has been unveiled today with a full roster of teams, including South Africa. The bulk of the Rugby Championship matches will be played in Australia and New Zealand, with both countries hosting five matches each and South Africa two.
The All Blacks play the opening Bledisloe Cup Test presented by Steinlager, before the start of the Rugby Championship, at Eden Park, Auckland, on Saturday 7 August.
The second Bledisloe Test is at Optus Stadium, Perth on Saturday 21 August, with the third back home at Sky Stadium, Wellington the following Saturday 28 August.
September will then see four Tests in a row for the All Blacks, with back-to-back Tests against Argentina, at Eden Park on Saturday 11 September and Sky Stadium, Wellington on Saturday 18 September (a “home” game for the Pumas).
The first of the back-to-back Tests against South Africa at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin on Saturday 25 September will be an extra special occasion – it will be the 100th Test match between the two famous foes, played in the 100th year anniversary of New Zealand and South Africa’s rich rugby history, in the same city as that first ever Test. (Played at Carisbrook on 13 August 1921, the All Blacks won 13-5).
The All Blacks’ final Rugby Championship Test against South Africa will be at Eden Park on Saturday 2 October (a “home game” for the Springboks).
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: It’s fantastic to have a full Rugby Championship confirmed. This is a huge year for us and we’ll get to really test ourselves. We’re also really excited for our fans who will be treated to a bumper year of international rugby.
“It was a dramatically different year for us last year and we learned a lot about ourselves. This year we’ve been able to bring these lessons through into what will be a ‘normal’ year for the All Blacks, which is really, really exciting.
“We kick off our season with a Bledisloe Cup home Test and we know how important that trophy is to our team and our fans, it’ll be a massive occasion, so we will have to be ready to hit the ground running.
“We’ll also look forward to what we know will be a special 100th Test match against South Africa in Dunedin.”
With three Tests in the earlier Steinlager Series (Tonga and Fiji x two) and four Tests on their Northern Tour (against Wales, Italy, Ireland and France) later in the year, the All Blacks will play 14 Tests, their busiest year since 2017 when they played 14 Tests and two non-Test matches.
The on-sale date for tickets to the All Blacks Rugby Championship Tests as well as the Bledisloe Cup Test presented by Steinlager will be announced in due course.
Third Bledisloe Cup Test, presented by Steinlager
Saturday 7 August
All Blacks vs Australia, 7.05PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
The 2021 Rugby Championship match schedule
Saturday 14 August
South Africa vs Argentina, venue & kick-off time TBC, SOUTH AFRICA
Saturday 21 August
Australia vs All Blacks, kick-off time TBC, Optus Stadium, PERTH
Argentina vs South Africa, venue & kick-off time TBC, SOUTH AFRICA
Saturday 28 August
All Blacks vs Australia, 7.05PM, Sky Stadium, WELLINGTON
Saturday 11 September
All Blacks vs Argentina, 7.05PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
South Africa vs Australia, venue & kick-off time TBC, AUSTRALIA
Saturday 18 September
Argentina vs All Blacks, 7.05PM, Sky Stadium, WELLINGTON
Australia vs South Africa, kick-off time TBC, Suncorp Stadium, BRISBANE.
Saturday 25 September
All Blacks vs South Africa, 7.05PM, Forsyth Barr Stadium, DUNEDIN
Australia vs Argentina, venue & kick-off time TBC, AUSTRALIA
Saturday 2 October
South Africa vs All Blacks, 7.05PM, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
Argentina vs Australia, venue & kick-off time TBC, AUSTRALIA