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All Blacks to start with Boks clash

World Cup hosts New Zealand will begin next year's Tri-Nations campaign with a home fixture against South Africa on July 30.

The All Blacks will play on consecutive weekends at two of the venues for the finals - Wellington's Westpac Stadium and Eden Park in Auckland where they will play Australia a week later.

The competition will be much shorter than the usual eight weeks, instead being cut to just over a month in the run-up to the World Cup.

In what is also set to be the last three-nation edition - Argentina are due to join an expanded Four Nations from 2012 - the Wallabies face South Africa at the ANZ Stadium in the opening game on July 23.

After the two games in New Zealand, the Springboks will take on Australia in Durban on August 13, followed by a first-ever Tri-Nations game in the Eastern Cape a week later against the All Blacks.

The match is due to be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth - one of the venues utilised during the football World Cup - but both games are dependent on satisfactory discussions between the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the hosting provinces.

The action will conclude on August 27 when Brisbane will host the return Bledisloe Cup game between New Zealand and Australia at the Suncorp Stadium.

Thirteen days later, the World Cup is scheduled to get under way in Auckland.

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