Two home tests for All Blacks ahead of World Cup

The All Blacks will play two Tests on home turf in a Rugby World Cup year.

The Rugby Championship schedule will see the All Blacks play South Africa at Mt Smart Stadium on 15 July.

The second game is a Bledisloe Cup clash against Australia in Dunedin. It is the first time since 2017 that the Bledisloe Cup has been to the city and will be a rare afternoon home Test match at Forsyth Barr Stadium on 5 August.

New Zealand open the Rugby Championship on the road against Argentina in Medonza on 8 July and have another game against South Africa at London's Twickenham Stadium on 25 August.

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said it was a tough draw.

"Playing the Argentinians in Argentina is an exciting challenge after not being there since 2019.

"With the challenges of stadium availability in Australasia, we are delighted to play this huge South African Test at Mt Smart. We believe it's key for the connection with our fans to have this massive game in our backyard and can't wait.

"The Dunedin Test is also equally important for us because it's our last chance to play in front of our fans before we head off for an exciting Rugby World Cup."

These five Tests are part of the All Blacks' build up to the Rugby World Cup in France and New Zealand Rugby head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said the home games were important.

"Although there is a shortened Rugby Championship schedule, there will no doubt be an edge to the Test matches played this year," Lendrum said.

"The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup remain vitally important to New Zealand Rugby, I know Foz [Foster] and the team are looking forward to the season kicking off as they continue to build ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September."