June International Tours

England to host Australia for cash strapped Fiji


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England has canceled a match against financially struggling Fiji and will instead host Australia at Twickenham on Nov. 7.


The Rugby Football Union announced the move Wednesday in a bid to strengthen the financial position of rugby in Fiji.

A “significant portion” of the estimated 7 million-pound ($11.5 million) surplus from the Australia game will be funneled directly into Fijian rugby.

The deal allows Fiji to continue with its planned tests against Ireland and Scotland and replace the game against England on Nov.

28 with a test in the United States.

Australia has also confirmed it will host Fiji on June 5 next year, a week before England begins a two-test series.

The schedule change was approved by the International Rugby Board as part of a global package of measures designed to support Fijian rugby.

The team has lost the backing of its major sponsor, Flour Mills of Fiji, and recorded a financial loss last year of 770,000 Fiji dollars ($367,000).

“Moving around our autumn schedule is not ideal but to be able to offer Fiji substantive support we needed to find a multi-union approach,” RFU chief executive Francis Baron said.

“Playing a test against Australia in replacement for the Fiji Test will allow us to generate additional revenue to provide meaningful financial support to the Fiji Rugby Union as part of the global package.”

Australia will now embark on a tour in November, with fixtures against Grand Slam champion Ireland, Scotland and Wales to follow the Twickenham clash with England.


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