Adelaide Oval to host Australia against Springboks, Bledisloe Cup midweek, All Blacks, Wallaroos fixtures, Rugby League dates

Chris Latham scored five tries for the Wallabies at the Adelaide Ring during the 2003 World Cup.
Chris Latham scored five tries for the Wallabies at the Adelaide Ring during the 2003 World Cup.

In a throwback to the glory years of George Gregan and George Smith, the Wallabies will return to Adelaide Oval in August for the first time since 2004.

In a surprising move, Dave Rennie’s side will face the Springboks in Championship Rugby at the historic site on August 27, in a double-header with the Wallaroos.

While the Wallabies’ only test against the All Blacks has also been confirmed, Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium will host both nations for the first time since 2010 in the first midweek Bledisloe Cup match in nearly three decades.

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This is to spread the love for Rugby Australia, with the governing body keen to build support – public and financial – for its World Cup bids, while also aiming to grow the game across the country. as part of an “inheritance plan”.

Queensland, one of the country’s two hotbeds of rugby talent, will not hold a test as a reminder that matches should not be taken for granted, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offering financial lures to the AFL and the NRL to play there.

Whether the decision will come down to biting Rugby Australia remains to be seen.

The Wallabies’ record in Queensland is extraordinary, where they haven’t lost since hosting Eddie Jones’ England in 2016 and last year they won four matches in a month against Africa South and Argentina.

The Wallaroos’ preparations for the World Cup will also kick into high gear, with two fixtures against New Zealand’s Black Ferns in back-to-back weekends.

Back-to-back games will be vital for Jay Tregonning’s side as they prepare for October’s World Cup across the divide.

With the game’s greatest assistant coach Wayne Smith announced as the new Black Ferns coach, both nations will use the tests to prepare for the crunch tournament.

“Playing against the Black Ferns is always a momentous occasion for the team, especially now that they are our first opponents at the Rugby World Cup in October,” Tregonning said.

“The team has always been dedicated to growing women’s football across the country and playing in Adelaide only reinforces that.

“Being able to play our second O’Reilly Cup Test in Adelaide will hopefully inspire a lot of female talent in South Australia to choose rugby and start their own journey to Buildcorp’s Wallaroos.

“Having a double-header with the Wallabies is now something the fans are always excited for and these two tests will combine to create a truly world-class event.”

The Wallabies will play at Adelaide Oval for the first time since 2004, when Gregan’s men beat the Pacific Islanders 29-14.

A year earlier, Chris Latham scored five tries in the Wallabies’ 142-0 loss to Namibia in the 2003 World Cup.

They will take on the Springboks at the scenic venue after back-to-back matches in Argentina, before taking on the world champions in Sydney.

If RA have their way, the game will take place at the new Allianz Stadium, which is due to open in August.

The last time the Wallabies faced the All Blacks in a midweek game was in 1994, when Gregan famously tackled winger Jeff Wilson in Sydney.

Meanwhile, Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is racing against time to be fit for the Waratahs’ game against Moana Pasifika on Saturday in Auckland.

The flanker suffered a concussion after a reckless tackle from Hamish Dalzell in the Waratahs’ famous win over the Crusaders on Saturday night.

Elsewhere, Queensland wrecking ball Taniela Tupou is set to miss the next few weeks with a calf injury in a devastating blow to the Reds’ hopes of hosting a home final.

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