Spectators to be allowed at All Blacks v Wallabies Auckland Test

Wellington (AFP) –


Spectators will be allowed to watch the second Bledisloe Cup rugby Test between the All Blacks and Wallabies at Eden Park after a government decision to ease Covid-19 restrictions in Auckland, New Zealand Rugby said Monday.

The October 18 match was set to be played behind closed doors until Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced limits on social gatherings in Auckland will be lifted this week, bringing the city into line with the rest of New Zealand.

New Zealand Rugby welcomed the move, which means the cash-strapped organisation will host both the first Bledisloe Test in Wellington on October 11 and the second in Auckland a week later with packed stands.

NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said Auckland fans had missed watching elite rugby while the restrictions were in place.

"This is positive news that they will be able to enjoy Test match rugby," he said in a statement.

Restrictions remained in place in Auckland longer than the rest of the country because the city was the location of a second wave of infections, which has now been contained.