Bledisloe Cup series reduced to two matches

The annual three-match Bledisloe Cup series between the All Blacks and Wallabies will be scaled back to two tests until at least 2025 following a mutual decision by the trans-Tasman nations.

Australia and New Zealand have competed for the Bledisloe Cup since the early 1930s with the All Blacks enjoying much the better of the rivalry.

New Zealand whitewashed Australia 3-0 last year to ensure the trophy remains with them for a 19th straight season.

"It was the end of a 15-year cycle, so we've got to look ahead at our objectives and what is the pathway ahead for us," Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos told Australian media.

"We need to manage and prioritise how we're going to go to the World Cup (in 2023) and then we have a Lions year in 2025, which is also another consideration.

"We've played each a huge amount over the years and we haven't been successful -- it's not because... we're not wanting to look at it -- but we feel for a period it'll be good to have a break, look at other opportunities against other countries."

The Bledisloe Cup has been contested as a three-test series since 2006 except during World Cup years and a reduced schedule means Australia's task to regain the trophy could potentially become more daunting.

"Whether it's two or three tests, Australia has got to win them twice to regain the trophy," Marinos said. "I think with this new schedule, the ball's in our court to back it up with our performances."