The West

Kiwis to host first home-and-away AFL game outside Oz
St Kilda are heading to New Zealand. Pic: Getty Images

St Kilda and Sydney will play the first AFL match for premiership points outside Australia in New Zealand on Anzac Day in 2013.

The April 25 clash at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium will be the first of what is planned to be an annual fixture there, hosted by the Saints.

“This is a significant moment, not only in the history of the St Kilda Football Club but also for the AFL,” Saints president Greg Westaway said.

“St Kilda, with the strong support of the AFL, is very proud to be at the forefront of promoting and growing our sport internationally.”

The initial deal between the Saints, the AFL and Wellington City Council is for three years, provided all parties are satisfied after the first year.

But the Saints hope it will continue long-term.

Saints chief executive Michael Nettlefold said while the arrangement should benefit St Kilda commercially, they also aim to promote the sport in New Zealand.

Wellington City Council’s Sports and Events Leader John Morrison said the city also aimed to use it as a promotional opportunity.

“We are looking forward to showcasing the AFL game and in turn promoting Wellington to all AFL fans,” Morrison said.

The match will start after the traditional Essendon-Collingwood Anzac Day MCG blockbuster.

The West Australian

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