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Blues to face Saints in New Zealand

The Blues will face the Saints in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 25, 2015. (Photo: AFL Photos)
The Blues will face the Saints in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 25, 2015. (Photo: AFL Photos)

The Australian Football League (AFL) today announced St Kilda would host Carlton in Wellington New Zealand as the opening game on Saturday April 25, 2015, to mark the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.

In 2015, Anzac Day will fall on a Saturday and the AFL will play five matches throughout the day and evening across New Zealand and Australia, including the traditional Essendon / Collingwood afternoon match at the MCG. The full fixture for the Anzac Day Round and the 2015 Toyota AFL Premiership Season will be released next Thursday, October 30.

AFL General Manager Broadcasting, Scheduling & Major Projects Simon Lethlean said St Kilda would host Carlton at 1.10pm New Zealand local time, for a 11.10am broadcast into Australia on the Fox Footy Channel, after consultation with the Victorian RSL.

The 2015 match in Wellington will be St Kilda's third match at the venue, after hosting the Sydney Swans in 2013 and the Brisbane Lions in 2014.

Major General David McLachlan AO, State President of the Victorian RSL, said the RSL had supported the final outcome with the 2015 fixture for Anzac Day after consultation with the senior AFL executive in recent weeks.

"Importantly the scheduling means that broadcasts of the matches on ANZAC Day will not conflict with any live free to air televising of the capital city marches and other commemorative activities in the various States and Territories and the RSL thanked the AFL for their respectful handling of this matter,’ Major General McLachlan said.

Mr Lethlean said the AFL wished to thank the RSL for its continued support of the AFL's match programming around Anzac Day.

“Anzac Day is a central point on the Australian calendar and the AFL is greatly appreciative of the RSL's support for football being able to recognise and thank the contribution of our service women and service men through our history," Mr Lethlean said.

“The first-ever matches for premiership points in New Zealand, away from Australian soil over the last two years, have built a strong following across the Tasman and we look forward to an excellent contest between two foundation clubs of the competition.

“In addition to the partnership with the RSL and the RSA in New Zealand, the support of both St Kilda and Carlton has been greatly appreciated by the AFL, along with the outstanding efforts of major broadcast partner Foxtel / Fox Footy and the Wellington City Council,” he said.