Rugby union will make a return to the MCG for the first time since 2007, after Rugby Australia and the Victorian Government secured the Bledisloe Cup matches on Melbourne soil in 2022 and 2023.The Bledisloe Cup series is now an annual two-match series, meaning the 2022 and 2023 fixtures in Melbourne are exclusive Australian dates for fans to get behind the green and gold in their battle for the Cup.
The MCG has hosted three Bledisloe Cup rugby union matches in its history, with an average attendance of a healthy 81,529.
In 1997, a total of 90,119 people saw New Zealand win 33-18. One year later, another 75,127 attended Australia’s 24-16 victory.
On June 30, 2007 a crowd of 79,322 saw Australia win 20-15 after three years’ domination by the All Blacks, generally ranked as the best team in the world.
The 2023 contest at the MCG will build on the momentum from the 2022 Bledisloe Cup – to be held at Marvel Stadium this year – and lead into the Wallabies’ campaign at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula said the return of the All Blacks to Melbourne for the first time since 2010, would attract thousands of fans.
“Melbourne is the nation’s sporting events capital and we’re stoked to host two of the biggest names in sport at our biggest stadiums.”
“The 2022 and 2023 Bledisloe Cup events will bring thousands of fans into Melbourne. That is just what our local hotels, restaurants, and small businesses need as Melbourne continues its triumphant recovery,” Mr Pakula said.
Melbourne Cricket Club CEO, Stuart Fox said the venue looked forward to welcoming back ‘the game they play in heaven’ for the first time in 16 years.
“The MCG has been home to some great Wallabies Test performances against the All Black in years gone by as well as some bumper crowds,” Mr Fox said.
“We look forward to hosting a match crucial to preparations for the World Cup later next year.”
Match details and ticketing arrangements will be communicated closer to the event.