New Zealand are big favorites against Australia, disappointing against France last month, in their first Bledisloe Cup clash, on Saturday in Auckland (9:05).
Not a single player from the Australian top 15 was born the last time the Wallabies beat the legendary turf Eden Park, in 1986, we can barely see them putting an end to the streak.
The All Blacks shone in their first three games of the year in June, with a landslide victory over Tonga (102-0) and two other big offensive performances against Fiji (57-23, 60-13), even if the first game took a little long to emerge.
Across the Tasman Sea, Australia meanwhile faced the worst of the odds to win its three-Test series against Team France and yet most of its executives were disqualified.
The Wallabies also shot themselves in the foot when, for disciplinary reasons, they had to lay off one of their best players, strong winger Marica Corbett, who was convicted of alcohol abuse upon his return from the Tokyo Olympics.
He will be replaced by Andrew Killaway in a team with an average age of 25, and this will be his first term.
New Zealand half-owner Aaron Smith will honor his 100th pick at age 32, with Richie Muonga, a favorite over Bewden Barrett, as pivotal partner.
New Zealand has hosted the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, an award played every year between the two rivals from Oceania, but coach Ian Foster warned of potential overconfidence: “The cup is not ours. We have to go and win it again.”
Other matches between New Zealand and Australia will take place as part of the rugby tournament: August 14, again at Eden Park in Auckland, then August 28 in Perth.
In the absence of world champions South Africa, the All Blacks won last year without convincing last year’s record competition in the Southern Hemisphere, conceding their first defeat in their history to Argentina.
But this year the South Africans will take part in the tournament they will start on August 14th against Pumas.
In this year’s retake, the Blacks also take revenge on the Wallabies, who defeated them in November in Brisbane (24-22) during their last standoff.
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