Late change sees Wallabies avoid ‘Eden Park’


The Wallabies’ Auckland assignment just got easier … maybe.

The venue where Australia hasn’t tasted success against their great rivals for 34 years – and the All Blacks are unbeaten at since 1994 – will this week take on a new name for the second Bledisloe Cup Test only.

Forget Eden Park, the home of New Zealand rugby will for this week take the name: Coopers Catch Park.

ASB Bank last week announced a promotion that would help one lucky New Zealand business after the company secured the naming rights sponsorship for one week only.

“Last week ASB made history by securing weeklong naming rights to the iconic stadium and announced that it would gift the opportunity to a Kiwi business in need of a boost,” a press release read.

“Today, Kaikoura’s family-owned fish and chip shop, Coopers Catch, has been revealed as the new naming right sponsor of what will be known this weekend as Coopers Catch Park.”

The name change has added another level of intrigue to a Bledisloe Cup series already overflowing with tension and drama following Sunday’s incredible 16-all draw in Wellington.

Both the All Blacks and Wallabies had the chance to win the match in eight-and-a-half minutes of gripping overtime after Reece Hodge’s penalty attempt hit the post following the final siren.

For the superstitious, the one-off switch to Coopers Catch Stadium might just be the slice of good luck the Wallabies need to end their 34-year hoodoo against the All Blacks in Auckland.

Unfortunately for Australia, the atmosphere and parochial home support will still be the same and again present a significant hurdle for the Wallabies to overcome, so, too, an All Blacks outfit disappointed with its performance at Sky Stadium on Sunday.

“We are delighted to showcase a small business like Coopers Catch and hope the gesture will inspire all Kiwis to support their neighbourhood businesses,” Eden Park’s chief executive officer Nick Sautner said of the change.

“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at New Zealand’s national stadium is guaranteed to create another unforgettable memory at Sunday’s Bledisloe Cup.”

The All Blacks triumphed 36-0 in last year’s Bledisloe Cup clash at Eden Park, just a week after the New Zealanders had been beaten by the Wallabies in Perth.

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