Oz host Welsh, Scots in 2012

2011-11-04 09:01
The Wallabies will tackle Wales in their backyard next year (Gallo Images)

Sydney -The Wallabies announced on Friday they will play three Tests at home against Wales, the team they beat in the Rugby World Cup bronze play-off, next year.

Australia will also face Scotland in a one-off Test on June 5 at Newcastle, some 125km north of Sydney.

That match will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Scots defeated Australia 9-8 at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in 2009, a win that saw them break a 27-year, 16-game losing streak to the Wallabies.

Following the Newcastle showdown, Australia will play three Tests on successive Saturdays against Wales, whom they beat 21-18 in last month's World Cup third-place showdown in New Zealand.

The games will take place at Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

It will be the first time since 2001 - when the British and Irish Lions toured Australia - that the Wallabies have played a European heavyweight in a three-Test series across the traditional June window Down Under.

"A return to a three-Test series as we will play against Wales is an opportunity to build anticipation, excitement and momentum during the course of the tour," said Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neill.

"It is a long time since we have had that opportunity, to experience a heavyweight northern hemisphere opponent in our backyard for three Tests.

"I'm delighted too that Wales will be that opponent in 2012. I think all Australians understand what the Welsh are capable of in terms of exciting and attacking rugby."

O'Neill added that the addition of Scotland to the June Test window was also significant.

"Newcastle has a wonderful history as a nursery for Wallabies stars, the most recent of them being Luke Burgess," he said.

"So to take a Test to the area is a fitting reward for the contribution Newcastle and the region has made over a long period of time."

Australian inbound Tests next year:

June 5 - Australia vs. Scotland at Newcastle

June 9 - Australia vs. Wales at Brisbane

June 16 - Australia vs. Wales at Melbourne

June 23 - Australia vs. Wales at Sydney

Read more on:    john o'neill

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