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“The Rugby Championship” to replace Tri Nations

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By ARU Media Unit

Australian Rugby Union today announced Sydney, Perth and Gold Coast as host cities for the Qantas Wallabies’ three home Tests when The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship is launched next year.

Argentina has been confirmed alongside South Africa, New Zealand and Australia to play from 2012 in the exciting and ground-breaking home and away Championship to replace the former Tri Nations series.

The Qantas Wallabies will open The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship against Rugby World Cup semi-final opponents and eventual RWC winners the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday, 18 August.

The showdown with two-time Rugby World Cup winners South Africa will be played in Perth on Saturday, 8 September, while Argentina will take on the Qantas Wallabies in a historic Test at Skilled Park, Gold Coast, on Saturday, 15 September.

Apart from being the first match in Australia for the Pumas as part of The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship, the Skilled Park fixture will also be the first Test the Wallabies have played on the Gold Coast.

ARU also confirmed today Brisbane will host the last of the three Bledisloe Cup Tests against arch-rival New Zealand in 2012.

The third blockbuster in the trans-Tasman series will be played after The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship, with Suncorp Stadium the venue for the clash on Saturday, 20 October.

The first two Tests of the Bledisloe Cup series – in Sydney on 18 August and Auckland on 25 August – will be incorporated into The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship.

“The Rugby Championship will be the best of the best and represents the latest stage in the evolution of the game in the southern hemisphere,” said Australian Rugby Union Managing Director and CEO John O’Neill AO.

“The All Blacks are the No.1 side in the world, the Qantas Wallabies are No.2, the Springboks are No.4 and Argentina is No.7.

“This will be an exciting, enthralling, intense Championship of home and away matches between four heavyweight nations.

“They will play six matches each, three at home and three away, and the status of this event will be fitting of the moniker ‘The Rugby Championship’.

“On top of the announcement last week of the Castrol Edge International against Scotland on 5 June, and the Castrol Edge Welsh Tour which includes three Tests the same month, confirmation of The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship adds further lustre to the 2012 program.

“It will be a magnificent season of international Rugby in Australia, with eight Tests domestically.

“We are also introducing two new Test venues in Ausgrid Stadium at Newcastle for the Scottish game and Skilled Park at the Gold Coast for the Argentina match.”

For the full 2012 Qantas Wallabies draw click here