2022-05-01 21:44:00

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

In a surprising, though welcomed move, Dave Rennie’s side will play the Springboks in The Rugby Championship at the historic venue on August 27 as part of a double header with the Wallaroos.

While the Wallabies’ lone Test against the All Blacks has also been confirmed, with Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium to host the two nations for the first time since 2010 in the first midweek Bledisloe in almost three decades.

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The Wallabies celebrate after defeating Namibia at Adelaide Oval.Source: News Corp Australia

It is a case of spreading the love for Rugby Australia, with the governing body keen to shore up support – public and financial – for their World Cups bids while also intent on growing the game across the entire nation as part of their “legacy plan”.

But is also an important reminder for Queensland — one of two nurseries for rugby talent in the country — that Test matches aren’t to be taken for granted as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk looks elsewhere to entice top-tier sport to the state.

Whether the decision comes back to bite Rugby Australia remains to be seen.

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

The Wallaroos will play the Black Ferns in back to back matches ahead of the World Cup. Photo: AAPSource: AAP

As well as the entire TRC announcement, the Wallaroos’ World Cup preparations will also be stepped up a gear with two fixtures against New Zealand’s Black Ferns over consecutive weekends.

The back-to-back matches will be vital for Jay Tregonning’s side as they prepare for October’s World Cup across the ditch.

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

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

“The side has always been dedicated to growing the women’s game right across the country and playing in Adelaide only reinforces this.

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

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

George Gregan made his famous trysaving tackle on Jeff Wilson during the last midweek Bledisloe Cup fixture in 1994.Source: News Corp Australia

The Wallabies will play at Adelaide Oval for the first time since 2004, when Matt Giteau and Stirling Mortlock scored doubles as Gregan’s men beat the Pacific Island 29-14.

One year earlier, Chris Latham scored five tries in the Wallabies 142-0 rout over Namibia in the 2003 World Cup.

They will face the Springboks at the picturesque venue after back to back matches in Argentina, before playing the world champions in Sydney a week later.

If RA get their way, the match will be held at the new Allianz Stadium, which is undergoing the finishing touches.

The Wallabies will round out their home year by taking on the All Blacks in Melbourne under the roof on Thursday September 15 – the first midweek Bledisloe fixture since Gregan’s famous trysaving tackle on dual international winger Jeff Wilson at the old Sydney Football Stadium.

“To have such high quality Tests in Australia this year is great for our team as we continue to build and gain experience as a group,” Rennie said.

“To have matches in most major cities across Australia this year will allow us to connect with more of our supporters and community which is something we value highly as a team.”

Waratahs player Michael Hooper is racing the clock to be fit for their clash with Moana Pasifika after a concussion against the Crusaders. Photo: AFPSource: AFP

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

The flanker was concussed after a reckless tackle by Hamish Dalzell during the Waratahs’ famous win over the Crusaders on Saturday night.

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

2022 Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Fixtures

Wallabies v Argentina, Saturday 6 August, TBC, at Estadio Malvinas, Mendoza

Wallabies v Argentina, Saturday 13 August, TBC, at Estadio del Bicentenario, San Juan

Wallabies v South Africa, Saturday 27 August, TBC at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Wallabies v South Africa, Saturday 3 September, TBC at TBC, New South Wales

Wallabies v New Zealand, Thursday 15 September, TBC at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

Wallabies v New Zealand, Saturday 24 September, 5:05pm AEST at Eden Park, Auckland

O’Reilly Cup Fixtures

Wallaroos v New Zealand, Saturday 20 August, 5:05pm AEST, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch

Wallaroos v New Zealand, Saturday 27 August, TBC at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

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Source by [graycupnews.com]

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