Australia’s rivalry with the All Blacks will be scaled back to two Tests each year from three, officials said, as the Wallabies seek to play other countries.
The rugby powerhouses have contested a best-of-three trans-Tasman series, the Bledisloe Cup, every year since 2006.
Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos said the decision would allow the Wallabies — who have not lifted the trophy since 2003 — to look at opportunities against other countries.
“We need to manage and prioritise how we’re going to go to the (2023) World Cup and then we have a (British and Irish) Lions year in 2025, which is also another consideration,” he told Fox Sports.
“We’ve played each other a huge amount over the years and we haven’t been successful — it’s not because of that we’re not wanting to look at it.
“But we feel for a period it’ll be good to have a break and look at other opportunities against other countries.”
The decision comes at a time when Fiji have joined a new-look 12-team Super Rugby Pacific competition and with Australia keen on building on its relationship with Japan.
Marinos added to the Sydney Morning Herald that the decision to play only two Tests was a joint move between Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby, and said it would not be reviewed before the end of 2025.
“I think where we are in terms of our planning, our growth and our development, pitting ourselves against the Kiwis once at home and once away is really right for where we are at this point in time,” he said.
© Agence France-Presse