Rugby Australia has today confirmed two blockbuster homes fixtures against the top two nations in the World Rugby rankings, as part of the 2021 eToro Rugby Championship.
The Bledisloe Cup will return to Perth this year with the Wallabies to square off against the All Blacks on Saturday 21 August. The blockbuster Test, secured for Perth by Western Australian government through Tourism WA, will be the first time the Wallabies have played at Optus Stadium since their memorable Bledisloe Cup fixture in 2019.
Then, on Saturday 18 September, reigning world champions South Africa will clash with Dave Rennie’s side at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane thanks to event partners Tourism and Events Queensland. It will be the Springboks first visit to Australia in more than three years, when the Wallabies snuck home 23-18 in a thriller at the same venue in 2018.
In Perth, Australia will be aiming to replicate that stunning night in 2019, where the points-scoring and crowd records were broken in the Wallabies’ 47-26 victory over New Zealand, in what was also the first Bledisloe Cup Test ever played in the West. The 2019 fixture also saw close to 7,400 visitors travel to Perth for the historic event and pour more than $12.5 million into the WA economy through visitor spend.
The two fixtures form part of the eToro Rugby Championship schedule announced by SANZAAR, with the tournament to be played across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Wallabies will open their eToro Rugby Championship campaign with home-and-away Tests against New Zealand before four straight home Tests against South Africa and Argentina respectively.
Fixture locations and kick-off times for the remaining Tests during the eToro Rugby Championship will be confirmed in the near future.
Additionally, it has also been announced that the Wallabies will play the All Blacks on Saturday 7 August at Eden Park in Auckland for the opening eToro Bledisloe Cup Test of 2021. The three-Test Series will be played across Auckland, Perth and Wellington with the last two fixtures also doubling as part of the eToro Rugby Championship schedule.
Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said: “Firstly, I want to thank Brendan Morris at SANZAAR and our SANZAAR joint venture partners in ensuring the return of the eToro Rugby Championship this year. Once again, we have had unique challenges to overcome to get this far with both Argentina and South Africa making significant sacrifices to ensure we have the resumption of this world class Championship.
“I especially want to acknowledge Marcelo Rodreguez, the UAR Board, Mario Ledesma and his team the Pumas, who will again spend the entire season on the road away from loved ones and their adoring fans. They produced some monumental performances last year and again we expect them to be a formidable force in this Championship.
“I also would like to thank our Government partners for supporting the eToro Rugby Championship and the health authorities for their continued diligence in ensuring the competition will be safe for all players, staff and fans.
“For fans in Perth, it doesn’t get much bigger and better than a Bledisloe Cup Test on home soil and we can’t wait to get back to Western Australia this year, and the brilliant Optus Stadium.”It was a spectacular night back in 2019 and the entire Rugby community in Perth is buzzing ahead of the game in August.
“Then we look forward to the visit of Rassie Erasmus and the world champion Springboks. They thrilled the world with their play in Japan two years ago and we look forward to seeing them battle it out with our Wallabies on the 18th of September at Suncorp Stadium. They will be arriving on our shores fresh from their Lions Tour, and we are excited to pit ourselves against them having missed that opportunity last year,” Marinos said.
Western Australia’s Tourism Minister, David Templeman, said securing the only Bledisloe Test to be played on Australian soil this year was a huge coup for the State.
“For fans of rugby union, it doesn’t get any better than Bledisloe. The 2019 game in Perth holds an attendance record for Optus Stadium that still stands today, so we know the value this event has in terms of its potential to attract visitors to WA and showcase our State’s attractions through TV broadcast.
“For locals, it’s an incredible opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of this trans-Tasman rivalry, right here in their own backyard and I know it will bring people out in force.”
Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Suncorp Stadium was the home of world-class Rugby.
“This is a match-up of two Rugby greats that will attract a strong local and national audience,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We know world-class sporting events support local jobs and our economic recovery.
“In 2018 when the Springboks played the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium, the game contributed $7 million to Brisbane’s visitor economy.
“For interstate Rugby fans, this is an ideal opportunity to visit Brisbane for a great sporting and holiday experience.
“Every Wallabies Test will be ad-free, live and on demand with extended coverage on Stan Sport and live, free-to-air on the Nine Network.Tickets will go on general sale on Wednesday 9 June at 10am AWST for the Bledisloe Cup Test in Perth. To get presale access, join Team.Rugby
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