Wallabies v All Blacks – News and comprehensive expert opinion
When it comes to rivalries in international rugby, there is one series that stands above all others: Wallabies versus All Blacks. For nearly 80 years, Australia and New Zealand rugby sides have contested the Bledisloe Cup, now an annual competition between the two nations that forms part of the Tri Nations competition. Literally and figuratively, it is the single biggest trophy in rugby union.
The Bledisloe Cup was named after NZ Governer-General Lord Bledisloe in 1931 after a match between the All Blacks and Wallabies at Eden Park, Auckland. Contested on an irregular basis during its early years, the Bledisloe Cup was initially dominated by the All Blacks, with the Wallabies securing the first victory at the SCG in 1934.
Annual Bledisloe Cup clashes between the Wallabies and All Blacks commenced in 1981, and the series has moved from strength to strength since then. After four consecutive All Black series victories, the 1986 Wallabies, led by Nick Farr-Jones and David Campese, recorded their first victory in 37 years.
As rugby moved into professionalism during the mid-1990s, and television exposure continued to increase, coverage of the Bledisloe Cup reached new levels, culminating in the ‘Greatest Test Ever Played’ in 2000, when nearly 110,000 spectators watched Jonah Lomu crash over in the closing minutes for a 39-35 in an unforgettable match.
The All Blacks have continued to assert their dominance over the Wallabies in recent years, winning eight out of the past ten Tri Nations series against them, and comprehensively beating the Wallabies 20-6 in the semi-final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.