Wallabies to host England


It will be first time in the century-old rivalry between Australia and England that the two nations will meet in a three-Test series.

Michael Cheika's Wallabies will take on their old rivals for the Cook Cup in Brisbane (June 11), Melbourne (June 18) and Sydney (June 25).

They will also tackle hosts England in their group at this year's World Cup, at Twickenham on October 3.

“With a rivalry that dates back to 1909, it is remarkable that Australia and England have never before played a three-match series and the history of this occasion is sure to add to the anticipation for the tour,” ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said.

In the 43 internationals between the two nations, Australia have won 24 and England 18 with one Test drawn.

Coach Cheika said playing England in a three-Test series would be memorable.

“There is no question that our traditional rivalry with the English will make this three-Test series something special,” he said.

“To represent your country in three Tests against the old enemy in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney is something that does not happen all the time and I am sure we will make the most of the opportunity.”

The ARU has resisted the opportunity to stage two of the Tests at bigger grounds in Melbourne and Sydney.

Organisers will use the 30,000-seat AAMI Park, home of the Melbourne Rebels, and Sydney's 45,000-Allianz Stadium in a switch from the larger Melbourne Etihad Stadium (52,000) and Sydney ANZ (Olympic) Stadium (83,500), which the Wallabies have preferred in the past but have failed to sell out.

ARU general manager Rob Clarke said fans had been clear that they preferred a more intimate venue.

“We put together a fan survey with 8,000 respondents from the rugby community,” Clarke told reporters.

“The overwhelming feedback was that the fan experience is enhanced when they can sit in a stadium like AAMI Park and feel as though they are engaged and close to the activity.”

Wallabies v England in 2016:

Saturday, June 11 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday, June 18 AAMI Park, Melbourne

Saturday, June 25 Allianz Stadium, Sydney – AFP

Original source: Wallabies to host England