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By ARU Media Unit
Australian Rugby Union today released The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship schedule for the Qantas Wallabies 2014 Test season, with Australia’s three home Tests to be played in Sydney, Perth and the Gold Coast.
The Qantas Wallabies will once again kick off their Championship campaign with the opening Bledisloe Cup Test match against the All Blacks at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday 17 August.
They’ll come face to face with their Kiwi arch rivals again a week later in Auckland for the second Bledisloe battle at New Zealand’s Rugby cauldron, Eden Park, before a travel bye.
Australia’s campaign will continue on home soil against South Africa at Perth’s Patersons Stadium on Saturday 6 September.
The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship will return to the Gold Coast for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2012 where once again the Wallabies will tackle Argentina’s Pumas at Skilled Park on Saturday 13 September for the final home Test of the tournament.
After another week of rest, the Wallabies will travel to South Africa and Argentina to play the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday 27 September and the Pumas the following weekend.
Australian Rugby Union CEO, Bill Pulver said the third Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship will be an opportunity for Australia to claim victories against world-class opposition, including the current top two teams in the IRB World Rankings.
“This year’s Championship started after new coach, Ewen McKenzie had only just jumped on board and followed an enormous Lions Tour, so next year will be very interesting.
“We’ve won four of the five Tests on the Spring Tour and we’re confident of seeing that trend continue next year.
“The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship offers fans the chance to see some of the best international Rugby sides go head to head so it’s great to see matches against the Springboks and passionate Pumas returning to Perth and the Gold Coast,” Pulver said.
Australian Rugby also announced details of next year’s third and final Bledisloe Cup Test, which rotates each year between Australia and New Zealand. In 2014, the three-Test Bledisloe series will culminate at the Wallabies’ fortress, Suncorp Stadium, in Brisbane on Saturday 18 October.
The Qantas Wallabies will again be looking to recapture the mighty Bledisloe Cup trophy next year for the first time since 2002.
“It’s also very exciting to have two out of the three Bledisloe Cup games on our own home soil in 2014,” Pulver added.
“We’ll have the first Bledisloe and opening match of The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship in Sydney in August as the pinnacle event of the Bledisloe Cup Festival.
“We’d love to think that by the time we meet the All Blacks in Brisbane in October, it will be one-all between Australia and New Zealand and we’ll take hold of the Bledisloe Cup again on our own turf.”
Next year’s Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship will follow the recently announced Castrol EDGE France Series in 2014, where France will travel to Australia to take on the Qantas Wallabies in a three Test series in June.
The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship draw
Saturday 16 August
Australia v New Zealand
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Saturday 6 September
Australia v South Africa
Patersons Stadium, Perth
Saturday 13 September
Australia v Argentina
Skilled Park, Gold Coast
The complete Rugby Championship draw
South Africa v Argentina
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday 23 August
New Zealand v Australia
Eden Park, Auckland
Argentina v South Africa
Saturday 30 August
New Zealand v Argentina
McLean Park, Napier
New Zealand v South Africa
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday 20 September
Saturday 27 September
South Africa v Australia
DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Argentina v New Zealand
Saturday 4 October
South Africa v New Zealand
Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Argentina v Australia