Sydney Swans and St Kilda Saints are firming for 2013 Anzac Day Clash in Wellington

Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 03:19 am ACST

Contributed by: Rod Shaw

This much hyped progression for AFL and the game in NZ appears very close to being confirmed.

Sydney has emerged at the top of Wellington City Council's wish-list to play St Kilda next season in what would be the AFL's first match for premiership points outside Australia.

AFL chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan yesterday said a deal to stage the Anzac Day clash at Westpac Stadium had yet to be clinched, but Wellington City Council sports and events portfolio leader John Morrison told The Saturday Age he expected the fine print, such as advertising and beer rights, to be settled within three weeks.

Morrison also revealed his preference was for the Swans to take on the Saints. ''It's up to the AFL, of course, but we certainly believe the Sydney Swans are the hot favourites,'' Morrison said. ''From our point of view, we would certainly like it because Sydney has good access to Wellington. From our bigger picture point of view, we hope we can get as many Australians as possible from St Kilda and the Sydney Swans and the AFL, and there are also many Australians that are in New Zealand, not just Wellington. We are aiming for a full house.''

Morrison said the Saints could play as many as three matches in Wellington in 2014. The match would be broadcast after the traditional clash between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG. The AFL would be hopeful of attracting a capacity crowd of 35,000, having yesterday revealed attendances this season had slipped three per cent up to round 20, compared to the same time last season.

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