June International Tours

France could feel the House of Pain



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Otago’s Rugby bosses are hoping that the NZRU will again allocate test action to the ageing Carisbrook specifically for the French who plan to tour New Zealand in June 2009.

The venue was used this year for the Tri Nations when the All Blacks lost to the Springboks after Ricky Januarie scored a late try.

The match was a sell-out and was the first time that a Test match had been scheduled at the famous ground since the 2005 Tri Nations as the country’s bigger and newer (therefore better equipped) venues have been used of late.

Otago Rugby Football Union chief executive Richard Reid said that a bid had been lodged in the past month in terms of next year’s international schedule and he remains upbeat that Dunedin would again feature.

“The NZRU have asked if you are in the market for a test,” Reid told Yahoo!Xtra.

“And we inputted a paper a couple of weeks ago, or probably a month ago, which I suspect everyone did.

“And I am fairly sure at the next board meeting they will digest all the information from people who have submitted bids and make a decision.

“So we are just waiting really.”

The ground stands a good chance of getting a Test match as both Eden Park and AMI Stadium are undergoing pre-World Cup revamps.

But Reid said the ORFU’s hopes ahead of the confirmation of the test release were realistic but that Otago was unlikely to snare itself a Tri Nations test for a second successive season.

“We understand that with the stadium, the South African test was a one-off,” Reid said.

“So we are pitching for a French test and are hopeful.

“But there will other people who will be hopeful (too).”

The Test in July was Reid’s first since taking charge of Otago and Highlanders rugby and he added that it was the culmination of work which had begun in December 2007.

The result of all that work paid off as the clash was the only sellout test played in New Zealand in 2008 outside of Auckland.

“The best thing was that 90 percent of the crowd was from the Highlanders area,” he said.

“So that worked well.

“It sort of was just more a celebration of Dunedin and then there happened to be a rugby test, as much as the other way around.

“The whole city got in behind it, the whole province got in behind it.”



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