Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

World Cup treats for fans revived for Bledisloe test

Aucklanders have been urged to carry on the atmosphere of the Rugby World Cup and get involved in the city's test match preparation.

Tonight's Bledisloe Cup test at an all-but-sold-out Eden Park will be the city's biggest sporting event since the Rugby World Cup final in October.

A capacity crowd of 48,500 is expected to see the Wallabies - and Quade Cooper - take on the All Blacks.

And with fine weather predicted, thousands are expected to flock to Auckland's downtown bars in the lead-up to the 7.30pm kickoff.

Two of the successes of Auckland's World Cup - the fan trail from downtown to Eden Park and giant screens at the Cloud - have been reactivated for the match.

About 130,000 fans walked to Eden Park for World Cup matches, and civic leaders hope the route will now become a regular feature for big events at the venue.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the trail would feature light installations, stilt walkers, jugglers, DJs and cultural dancers.

"If you walked the fan trail during the World Cup, you will want to do it again. If you didn't, this is your chance to see why fans couldn't get enough of it," he said.

The 4.3km walking route will start in the city at Queen Elizabeth Square (opposite Britomart Station) from 4pm onwards.

Food and beverages will be available at existing outlets and temporary fan trail sites.

The trail can be walked in under an hour, but fans are encouraged to allow up to two hours to enjoy all the activities along the way.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development said it hoped for the participation of about 3000 people today.

A Cure Kids family zone will run at the Cloud on Queens Wharf in the afternoon, with the game airing on big screens in the alcohol-free zone.

Cup time

Cure Kids family zone

2-6pm, the Cloud, Queens Wharf, entry by gold coin donation.

Fan trail

4pm, Queen Elizabeth Square to Eden Park, free.

Bledisloe Cup live site

6.30pm, the Cloud, Queens Wharf, free.

- NZ Herald

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