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Wallabies headed for Wembley

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The Wallabies are set to play in Hong Kong later this year against the All Blacks but as an added bonus they could also be in for a treat by playing at Wembley Stadium later this year in a mid week Test.


Australian Rugby Union boss John O’Neill has revealed that a mid-week Test could form part of a revamped domestic program.


A couple of years ago Australia adopted the traditional style of tour and played some Northern hemisphere regional teams and it looks like the Wallabies could be headed down the same road as the end of year tour could include six international games plus mid-week matches.


While Australia is already committed to playing England, Italy and France the approval has been given by the IRB for them to also play the All Blacks in Hong Kong although O’Neill said that they were not in a position yet to announce it formally.


The Hong Kong fixture could also be part of the Bledisloe Cup program but that it’s status was yet to be determined.


He also said that a trans-Tasman Test in Asia could become a semi-regular fixture and future matches could be held in Tokyo, Japan.


O’Neill said there was also the possibility of a match against the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium, and Wales had also requested a Test against the Wallabies.


“I haven’t spoken to (new Wallabies coach) Robbie Deans about this, but there’s a possibility of mid-week games, which would make sense if you are going to play six Test matches,” O’Neill told Sunshine coast daily.


“You might be able to take a slightly expanded squad, particularly up and coming youngsters, there’s some bright young talent coming through that might benefit from that exposure.


“It’s shaping up as quite an exciting tour.”


O’Neill said Australia was fortunate New Zealand had decided not to appoint Deans as their national coach, describing the Kiwi as an exceptional coach and an exceptional bloke.


“Obviously we’re excited about his coaching ability, but I’m equally if not more excited about his style and manner and what he’s going to bring in terms of culture,” he said.


“I think we do need to reinvigorate and reestablish the Wallaby culture.


“He’s also a very good selector and I think great coaches tend to be great selectors and on top of that he is a very good man manager.”

 

Rugbyweek.com

 

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