The Bledisloe Cup is headed back to Japan with New Zealand Rugby confirming this year's third game will be played at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, the venue for the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
The fixture was slated for the move late last year, before NZR on Wednesday evening [NZT] finally confirmed October 27 as the date and Yokohama as the venue. The All Blacks will then face Japan a week later in Tokyo.
"We're delighted to confirm that a Bledisloe Cup Test match will be played in Japan for the second time in the history of this great rivalry," NZR boss Steve Tew said." The last match in 2009 was a fantastic event but this year's Test at the 72,000-seat stadium in Yokohama will be at another level. The All Blacks have huge support in Japan so the Bledisloe Cup Test will be important for the team as we build support ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019."
It will be the fourth Bledisloe Cup contest played outside of New Zealand and Australia but first since 2011 when the Wallabies defeated the All Blacks in Hong Kong.
The two nations met in the same city in 2008 while a Tokyo showdown was wedged between those two fixtures in 2009. The difference on this occasion is that the Yokohoma Test will not serve as a fourth trans-Tasman fixture for the year, as it was between 2008 and 2010.
"We are looking forward to returning to Japan in October for what will be an incredible event, with one of the greatest rivalries in our game being fought out a year before the same venue hosts the Rugby World Cup Final," Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle said.
"The Bledisloe Cup clash at Yokohama offers a great opportunity for the Wallabies to play a major Test on Japanese soil in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup and will build the excitement in the host nation ahead of the showpiece event next September."
New Zealand have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003 and claimed last year's series 2-1 with victories in Sydney and Dunedin.