NZ Rugby cancel 'fraudulent' tickets bought for Springboks test
WELLINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) - New Zealand Rugby (NZR) have cancelled more than 700 tickets for next week's hotly anticipated All Blacks test with South Africa in Wellington after they were purchased on the secondary market.
The Rugby Championship clash at the 34,500-capacity Wellington Regional Stadium between the traditional rivals on July 27 had almost sold out by Friday.
NZR said they had been alerted by the official ticketing agents that tickets were being offered on re-selling websites like Viagogo and they had classified them as "fraudulent" and asked them to be cancelled.
"Unfortunately, it is highly likely that some of these tickets will have already been on-sold to unknowing fans on the secondary market," NZR Chief Commercial Officer Richard Thomas said in a statement.
"Our message to fans is that if you choose to buy All Blacks tickets on the secondary market through online resellers like Viagogo, you run a huge risk of not entering the venue or having to pay inflated prices for tickets.
"Those fans may only discover their tickets are invalid when they present them at the gate."
The Springboks and All Blacks are expected to be at full-strength for the match, with both sides resting first-choice players for this weekend's opening games in the southern hemisphere competition.
While pivotal for the Rugby Championship, the Wellington match could also provide the winner a psychological boost ahead of the World Cup.
The two sides are scheduled to meet in their opening Pool B match at the global showpiece in Yokohama on Sept. 21.
(Writing by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom)