Bledisloe Cup 2016: Match One

Today is the opening clash of The Rugby Championship. It coincides with the defense of the famed Bledisloe Cup, held by the New Zealand All Blacks, Match One of this three game challenge will bring out the best in both sides.

Below are the team sheets; the Wallabies v All Blacks, with the match schedule and coaching groups. Join Last Word On Sport, as we build-up to the rugby match that ‘stops two nations’.

AUSTRALIA v NEW ZEALAND

ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park, Sydney. Kick-off: 8.05pm AET  (10.05pm NZT) Match official: Jaco Peyper

ANZ Stadium (formerly the Olympic Stadium) will host the Bledisloe Cup 2016 -- image courtesy of Scott Hornell
ANZ Stadium (former Olympic Stadium) will host the Bledisloe Cup —  courtesy of Scott Hornell.

WALLABIES

Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Dane Haylett-Petty; Bernard Foley, Will Genia; David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Ben McCalman; Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (c), Scott Sio

Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Allan Ala’alatoa, Dean Mumm, Scott Fardy, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne

Coaching group: Michael Cheika, Stephen Larkin, Nathan Gray

ALL BLACKS

Israel Dagg; Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Ryan Crotty, Waisake Naholo; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read (c), Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino; Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick; Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett

Reserves: Dane Coles, Kane Hames, Charlie Faumuina, Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Julian Savea

Coaching group: Steve Hansen, Ian Foster, Grant Fox

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Match One stats

  • The Wallabies haven’t won the Bledisloe Cup since 2002
  • The All Blacks haven’t won at ANZ Stadium since 2013
  • The Wallabies are currently on a four Test losing streak and another loss would hand them their worst run since 2005
  • The All Blacks have lost just one of their last 13 matches against Australia and have won their past 11 Tests (includes Rugby World Cup 2015)
All Blacks retain the Cup
All Blacks players celebrate after winning The Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australian Wallabies at Eden Park on August 15, 2015 in Auckland,(Getty Images)

Bledisloe Cup 2016: Match One

As a game that will have fans on both sides of the Tasman holding their breath, the recent record favours the New Zealand team (above). Australia would love nothing better than to win at their [recent] fortress.

For each side, this is the first match in The Rugby Championship, which Australia won in 2015. Next week, the sides travel to Wellington, so the winner of match one will have a ‘slight advantage’ in the follow-up game.

Last Word On Sports will report live from ANZ Stadium, with thanks to the Australian Rugby Union.