It is speculated that 47,000 people will say present in the next duel this Sunday between the All Blacks and the Wallabies for the Bledisloe Cup.
The world of sports is slowly returning to normal, after months of convulsions by the coronavirus pandemic. Many disciplines have already resumed their competitions. Some behind closed doors, others with less public than usual. But in New Zealand, rugby returned with everything and everyone. And as if the threat of Covid-19 was not yet present, some 47,000 spectators will gather this Sunday at Eden Park in Auckland for the second meeting of the Bledisloe Cup that the All Blacks and the Wallabies will play.
On Saturday, those two powerhouses played the first international friendly in more than seven months in Wellington, which ended in a 16-16 draw. At that meeting there were about 31,000 people in the stands, who did not respect social distancing or use masks. What’s more, the players approached the stands, signed autographs and took selfies with the public.
The chance to see rugby live again, especially when it comes to a duel between two sports giants, added to the exciting end of the match that took place over the weekend, seem to have excited the fans. And within hours, the tickets available for Sunday’s test match flew out of the virtual ticket office.
“It was fantastic to see so many fans on the court in Wellington for the first game in over a year, and after such an exciting game the interest has gone to another level. We are now looking forward to taking this test to the largest city in New Zealand and with more than 40,000 tickets sold, it is shaping up to be a special occasion ”, he commented. Chris Lendrum, General Manager of Rugby and Professional Performance New Zealand.
Lendrum predicted that the 7,000 tickets that are still available will be sold out quickly, so 47,000 people are waiting for the match to be played around midnight in Argentina on Saturday, in a mythical stadium for homeowners.
Because at Eden Park – which will be temporarily renamed Coopers Catch Park, in support of a small family-run fish and chip shop badly affected by Covid-19 – the All Blacks have not lost to Australia since 1986.
After suffering an outbreak of the virus in August, New Zealand lifted the restrictions that had been imposed again in some cities a week ago, especially in Auckland, the focus of the second wave of infections. So far, the oceanic country registers 1,872 cases and just 25 deaths.