Ordinary Kiwis have been locked out of three of the All Blacks' Northern Hemisphere test matches in November, unless they can stump up thousands for tour packages or scalped tickets.

Because none of the 82,000 tickets at London's Twickenham Stadium have been released to the general public, the only option locally is through the New Zealand Rugby Union's official travel company where prices for the November 10 match and accommodation start at $2095.

This includes the cost of a ticket – the highest ever being charged by England's Rugby Football Union outside a World Cup fixture at £195 [$NZD379.50] – two nights at 4-star hotel Radisson Blu Kenilworth, and a $700 "single room supplement" charge.

For two adults buying the same package the cost is $2790.


An online enquiry made by the Herald on July 2 for a double room at Radisson Blu shows a booking for November 10 and 11 would cost $678. Those rates have been steadily climbing since earlier this year.

Together with two tickets to the game, the difference is $1353.

However All Blacks Tours general manager David Caldwell said the extra money pays for hidden fees including securing a block booking of hotel rooms up to a year in advance of the tour.

Caldwell said All Blacks Tours was not permitted by New Zealand Rugby to sell match tickets only, to prevent price-gouging on scalped tickets.

Making the tickets even more unattainable was the fact only 500 per game had been released to New Zealand Rugby from the Northern Hemisphere unions.

The rest go to schools, clubs and sponsors there.

Caldwell sympathised with Kiwi rugby fans and said "watching England and the All Blacks at Twickenham is sort of bucket list stuff".

He said this tour had been the most popular ever sold.

Kelvin Nathan wants to see the All Blacks play in Ireland but fewer than 500 tickets were allocated to New Zealand for the match and can only be bought with accommodation. Photo / Supplied
Kelvin Nathan wants to see the All Blacks play in Ireland but fewer than 500 tickets were allocated to New Zealand for the match and can only be bought with accommodation. Photo / Supplied

All packages for the November 17 match against the Irish in Dublin are sold out and only a couple of weekend packages remain for the England match and the game against Italy on November 24.

The only other option on the website is for a "northern tour experience" taking in the three games, 18 nights' accommodation in England, Ireland and Italy and including various tourist highlights, for $14,295 for a single person or $22,590 for two people.

It is in stark contrast to the price of flights to the UK, currently at one of the lowest points in 20 years at $1300 return to London.

On the secondary market in London tickets hover around $1000 each via sites such as Viagogo, which made headlines last year after scalpers were found selling numerous copies of the same tickets.

The English RFU says on its website it takes the issue of black-market tickets seriously and is doing everything in its power to curtail unofficial sales through street touting and scalping sites such as Viagogo, eBay, Stub Hub, Seatwave and Get Me In.

Taranaki rugby fan Kelvin Nathan said he had been on two All Blacks supporter tours previously but this year he only wanted tickets.

The 57-year-old really wanted to see the All Blacks play in Ireland "but those packages sold out ages ago".

"I'm waiting to hear back from a friend over there, otherwise I'll be watching it on TV like everybody else."

The Irish RFU said if tickets were returned they would be released to supporters and lastly the general public, but that was unlikely because Irish home matches were highly anticipated.

Retired Hamilton lawyer and rugby fan Paul Clark has spent almost five months trying to source tickets to the England and Ireland tests which coincided with a holiday to the UK.

"We've made exhaustive enquiries directly to the Irish rugby union who replied and said they distributed tickets to clubs and schools and did not have any allocation, that we should try locally," Clark, 69, said.

"The New Zealand All Blacks Tours have got tickets, but you have to buy weekender packages. I don't think it's fair.

"There must be a lot of people in our situation who are going to be over there, who have their own accommodation and would like to go but can't unless we buy a package of two nights' accommodation.

"Kiwis are very mobile these days. We like to travel and this is something I wanted to do on my bucket list, to see the All Blacks play England at Twickenham and Ireland at Lansdowne Rd [Aviva Stadium]."