Wallabies, USA to lock horns

2015-05-12 21:00
Michael Cheika (AFP)

Sydney - Australia will play the United States in Chicago on September 5 in a warm-up for the Rugby World Cup in England, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Wallabies' match at Soldier Field will be the highlight of a two-week Stateside tour.

The match will be Australia's first Test in the USA in almost 40 years and just the fourth time the Wallabies have played on American soil.

Australia have won all seven of the internationals between the two nations.

"The lead up and match will be a critical part of our preparations before we head to England," Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.

Australia will fly from the USA to London ahead of their opening World Cup match against Fiji in Cardiff on September 23.

"Although we haven't met on many occasions, there's a rich history between our two Rugby nations, with the Eagles playing their first ever Test match against the Wallabies some 40 years ago," Cheika added.

"We know it will be a spirited encounter for that very reason and look forward to playing in front of a big Chicago crowd."

Bill Pulver, the chief executive officer of the Australian Rugby Union, said the tour would also provide "significant strategic benefits" for the organisation.

"The opportunity to bring the Wallabies to a new market in the United States is a major boost for our code in Australia and opens the door to significant future commercial opportunities," Pulver said.

"The match also has significant revenue benefits for the ARU during a 2015 season where the Qantas Wallabies play only two Test matches on home soil.

"We want to thank USA Rugby for making this opportunity possible, in what will be an important two weeks for the Wallabies."

The Wallabies' Test mirrors last year's by New Zealand, the All Blacks running out 74-6 winners in their first US appearance in 34 years before a record US rugby crowd of more than 61,000 spectators at Soldier Field, home of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Aside from Fiji, Australia face England, Wales and Uruguay in a tough World Cup Pool A from which only two teams advance to the knock-out phases.

The Unites States will head to the 20-team September 18-October 31 tournament thinking they have a sporting chance of progressing from Pool B, which also includes South Africa, Samoa, Japan and Scotland.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  michael cheika  |  rugby


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