Rugby Australia has today confirmed the 2021 eToro France Series with the first three Tests of the Wallabies’ 2021 match schedule. Rugby Australia continues to work with State and Federal Governments, as well as the Fédération Française de Rugby and World Rugby, to ensure fans can safely enjoy international Rugby this year.
The Test season will kick off with a blockbuster three-Test Series against France in July across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The eToro France Series also marks the return of midweek Test Rugby for the first time since 2012, when the Wallabies and France run out at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday 7 July.
The second eToro Test sees the teams move south to Melbourne at AAMI Park on Tuesday 13 July before a potential decider at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 17 July.
‘Les Bleus’ last toured to Australia in 2014, when the Wallabies claimed the series 3-0 and lifted the Trophée des Bicentenaries. France are currently ranked fifth in the world, and were as high as third during their recent run in the Six Nations earlier this year.
One of the great touring sides, France first visited Australian soil in 1961 to ignite a friendly rivalry between the two nations with a host of memorable encounters, including the 1999 Rugby World Cup Final.
The opening eToro France Test in Sydney will be first meeting between the two sides in almost five years, and the first time the Wallabies will wear their new Gold jersey following a vote by Australian Rugby royalty and the general public.
Every Wallabies Test against France will be ad-free, live and on demand with extended coverage on Stan Sport.
Every home Wallabies Test will also be live, free-to-air on the Nine Network.
Rugby Australia CEO, Andy Marinos said: “France are one of the most exciting teams in World Rugby; they play with passion, flair and unpredictability and have proven time and time again they are one of the global forces of our game.
“They have been quietly building their team as evidenced in their Junior World Cup performances over the past three seasons, and we are now starting to see this translate into their senior side as they look ahead to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. The baton is being passed down as we are seeing great names of a previous era being replicated in this next generation through players like Romain Ntamack to mention just one.
“We have also seen the emergence of our own new next generation of Wallaby players throughout the 2020 International season, where I have no doubt, they will continue to build positive momentum into this exciting eToro France Test Series to be held in in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“The return of midweek Test matches presents a unique opportunity for fans at home and at the venue, with each stadium in a central location for those attending after work.
“One of my fondest memories was at a midweek Test, when the Sydney Football Stadium was packed to the rafters to witness George Gregan’s famous try-saving tackle on All Blacks winger Jeff Wilson.
“As we navigate our way through the ever-changing sporting landscape that we now operate within, we do so with the continued safety of all those involved in these Test matches, along with the communities in which we play, remaining our number one priority.
“We have enjoyed constructive and engaged discussions with RUPA on the international calendar, ensuring that player welfare and high performance outcomes can be optimised. We will continue to work with our players to ensure our collective goal of being successful in all we do is realised.
“Rugby Australia, World Rugby and Member Unions will continue their ongoing dialogue in planning for each Test match event, in line with the advice of the relevant medical authorities, including any possible guidance on domestic and international travel as well as stadium capacities,” Marinos said.
Fédération Française de Rugby President Bernard Laporte said: “After discussions and validation by the competent public authorities, the French Rugby Federation is delighted to be able to confirm this summer tour of a series of three matches that promises to be of a very high standard.
“It is a great opportunity for our French team to confront an emblematic nation of the southern hemisphere that has marked the history of world rugby such as Australia.
“We are convinced that our bleus, who feel a growing popular wave of the French at each match, will be keen to continue to perform on the international stage and demonstrate that France is among the great nations of world rugby!” Laporte said.
Rugby Union Players Association CEO Justin Harrison said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges across our professional sporting landscape, maintaining a collaborative, pragmatic, solutions-based focus that has enabled the principles of player welfare to be at the forefront of what will continue to be a challenging calendar year of events.
“Rugby Australia and RUPA will continue to work constructively to maintain player welfare as a priority, and we now look forward to what promises to be a thrilling Test Series against France,” Harrison said.
Tickets on sale information:
Telstra Plus pre-sale from Wednesday 12 May 9am AEST
General Public from Tuesday 18 May 9am AEST
Hospitality packages are on sale now for the eToro France Series. Private suites, corporate boxes and functions are available for fans who want to enhance their Wallabies Test match experience. Information on hospitality packages is available here.
eToro France Series
Wallabies v France, Wednesday 7 July, 8.00pm AEST at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Wallabies v France, Tuesday 13 July, 8.00pm AEST at AAMI Park, Melbourne
Wallabies v France, Saturday 17 July, 8.00pm AEST at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane