Australia's November tour fixtures announced
April 15, 2014
Ewen McKenzie says the tour will be vital in preparing for the 2015 World Cup © Getty Images
The Australian Rugby Union has announced the dates for the Wallabies 2014 November tour, with fixtures against Six Nations Champions Ireland and next year's Rugby World Cup hosts England once again on the itinerary.
The tour will also include matches against the Barbarians (for the first time since 2011), Wales at the Millennium Stadium as well as against France in Paris.
Coach Ewen McKenzie will be looking for the trip to be as successful as last year's trip. After narrowly losing to England at Twickenham, Australia embarked on a four-match winning run, making it the most successful tour since 2008.
In 2013 the Wallabies defeated Italy in Turin (50-20), Ireland in Dublin (32-15), Scotland at Murrayfield (21-15) and, most memorably, Wales in Cardiff (30-26).
McKenzie is anticipating some hotly-contested battles. "The tour last year was the most successful in five years for the Wallabies and we'll be looking to improve on that come November," he said. "With the Rugby World Cup just a year away in England, we have scheduled five games against five teams that will bring a different style to each.
"We've got England and Wales in our pool for the Rugby World Cup and big improvers in France and Ireland, who just won the Six Nations. That will be a good challenge for us. We'll also get a chance to play two games at Twickenham - the venue where two of our pool games will take place - as part of a tour that should help further our preparations ahead of the World Cup."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene