Rugby Australia makes official request to claim NZ's Bledisloe tests

Australia have already secured the Rugby Championship hosting rights, and now they've made a bold play to snatch the opening Bledisloe Cup tests off New Zealand as well.

The first two tests of the annual trans-Tasman contest are scheduled to be played in New Zealand, with the final two to take place in Australia.

But Newshub can reveal that Rugby Australia has formally requested those last two tests be moved across the ditch, which would leave New Zealand with no international rugby this year.

The contention stems from NZ Rugby's insistence that the first Bledisloe Cup test is played on October 10 - just five days after the Wallabies' quarantine period would end.

On Sunday, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie made it clear that such a situation would be "unacceptable" for his team, and that playing the full series in Australia was the more fair solution.

"If New Zealand came here," Rennie said. "Both sides going into a bubble for two weeks with unrestricted training, the preparation is identical."

Newshub has learned that if NZ Rugby doesn't budge on the date, the Wallabies will simply not show up and effectively boycott the test.

Part of Rugby Australia's proposal sees NZR get a better slice of the revenue from those games, which lessens the financial blow of the matches' relocation.

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she's still confident that the respective unions will come to an agreement and NZ will retain their hosting rights.

"I do think we'll find a solution that works for both sides," Ardern said.

"It'll be up to the rugby unions to determine on what day they're held."

NZR didn't respond directly to Newshub's claims, simply stating it had no update on the status of the test matches.

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