5 Aug 2011

Auckland 'ready for huge rugby crowd'

8:20 am on 5 August 2011

Officials in Auckland are confident years of planning will pay off on Saturday night when the city hosts the country's biggest rugby crowd for 55 years.

More than 50,000 fans will head to Eden Park for the All Black's Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia, which is being treated as a dress rehearsal for the city's Rugby World Cup plans.

Up to 17,000 fans are expected to use special train services.

Merlyn Hutchinson of Auckland's events agency is managing a control centre monitoring cameras at key points, and says the planning is modelled on Melbourne's experience with major events.

Transport officials are urging spectators to get to the ground well before the kick-off just after 7.30pm.