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Wallabies to play five Tests & Baabaas at Wembley


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The Wallabies will play five Tests and a match with the Barbarians at Wembley on their European rugby tour in November, the Australian Rugby Union said Monday.

The Wallabies kick off their trip with a Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand in Hong Kong on November 1, before consecutive weekend internationals against Six-Nations teams Italy, England, France and Wales.

The tour will be completed with a match against the Barbarians at London’s new Wembley stadium on December 3, the ARU said.

The Barbarians’ match is at the invitation of the British Olympic Association and commemorates the Olympic gold medal for rugby won by Australia at the 1908 London Olympics at White City.

The game also marks the 60th anniversary of the first meeting between the Wallabies and the Barbarians at Cardiff Arms Park in January, 1948.

The Barbarians defeated the Wallabies 9-6 on that day in front of 45,000 fans.

The tour kicks off with a Bledisloe Cup Test in Hong Kong, the first time rugby’s storied trophy has been contested outside of Australia or New Zealand.

The Wallabies then play Italy on November 8, England at Twickenham on November 15, World Cup finalists France in Paris on November 22 and newly-crowned Six Nations Grand Slam champions Wales at Millennium Stadium on November 29.

“We are playing five Tests, starting with an historic Bledisloe Cup game in Hong Kong, then ending the trip with a sixth game against the Barbarians which has major historical connections,” ARU chief executive John O’Neill said in a statement.

“We’re excited about what lies ahead on Robbie Deans’ first tour to Europe as Wallabies coach.

“It is, in many respects, a ground-breaking venture; a first-ever Bledisloe Cup Test offshore, playing at the famed and redeveloped Wembley Stadium, and the opportunity to celebrate our Olympic Games success 100 years ago.”

Tour schedule:

November 1 – Australia v New Zealand, Hong Kong
November 8 – Italy v Australia, venue to be decided
November 15 – England v Australia, Twickenham, London
November 22 – France v Australia, Stade de France, Paris
November 29 – Wales v Australia, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
December 3 – Barbarians v Australia, Wembley Stadium, London   

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