Blacks host French in 2007 opener

Next year’s season begins in competitive fashion for the New Zealanders, with France visiting for a two-match series.

Following these two games in June, the All Blacks will play a one-off match against Canada. The Tri-Nations and World Cup tournaments then follow.

“Next year is obviously a very important year with the Rugby World Cup in France, but the All Blacks also have an exciting schedule of matches at home ahead of them before that tournament,” NZRU Deputy Chief Executive Steve Tew said.

“They will be keen to measure themselves against the current Six Nations champions and the three Tests, together with the Tri-Nations, will be key steps in their preparations for Rugby World Cup.”

The All Blacks’ Test schedule for 2007:

Sat 2 June: v France, Eden Park, Auckland – 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Sat 9 June: v France, Westpac Stadium, Wellington – 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Sat 16 June: v Canada, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton – 19.35 (07.35 GMT)

Tri-Nations:
Sat 23 June: v South Africa, TBC
Sat 30 June: v Australia, MCG, Melbourne – TBC
Sat 14 July: v South Africa, Jade Stadium, Christchurch – 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Sat 21 July: v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland – 19.35 (07.35 GMT)

World Cup:
Sat 8 Sept: v Italy, Velodrome Stadium, Marseille – TBC
Sat 15 Sept: v Repechage 1, Gerland Stadium, Lyon – TBC
Sun 23 Sept: v Scotland, Murrayfield, Edinburgh – TBC
Sat 29 Sept: v Romania, Toulouse Stadium, Toulouse – TBC