Wallaroos to play two-Test series against Japan, expand 2019 calendar

Womens International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

The Wallaroos will play three Tests in Australia this year with news of two Tests against Japan being added to their schedule.

Already the Wallaroos are set to play a home and away Bledisloe double header against the Black Ferns but Rugby Australia announced on Thursday afternoon that two Japan Tests would be added to their calendar.

Australia will face off against Japan on Saturday July 13 in Newcastle and Friday July 19 at North Sydney Oval, doubling the two Tests that they played in 2018.

Wallaroos coach Dwayne Nestor and leading players have all been vocal about the need to expand the Wallaroos' annual program and these two Tests are a major step for the side.

The Wallaroos' Test calendars have historically been bare with the cost of travelling overseas to face off against some of the powerhouse nations a major obstacle.

Australia played just five Tests in total between the 2014 and 2017 World Cups, with four of those coming in the months leading into of the 2017 tournament.


Since the 2017 Women's World Cup, however, Australia has played at least two internationals a year and established an ongoing annual two-match series against New Zealand's Black Ferns.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle the Japan series was a vital one for the Wallaroos and the growth of women's rugby.

"We look forward to welcoming Japan for an historic Test series against our Buildcorp Wallaroos in July, an occasion made possible thanks to the support of the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW," she said.

“We are committed to providing more high-quality fixtures for our Buildcorp Wallaroos and giving Rugby fans, particularly aspiring young girls, more exposure to the stars of our women’s game to inspire the next generation. This series is another step on that journey."

Australia played Japan at the 2017 World Cup, beating them 29-15 in that encounter.

FIXTURES

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Wallaroos schedule

Saturday July 13 - Australia vs Japan, Newcastle Sportsground no. 2

Friday July 19 - Australia vs Japan, North Sydney Oval

Saturday August 10 - Australia vs New Zealand, Optus Stadium, Perth, 

Saturday August 17 - New Zealand vs Australia, Eden Park, Auckland