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England to play Australian Barbarians

18/03/2010 02:36:25 PM Comments (0)

The touring England rugby squad will play two mid-week matches against an Australian Barbarians side boasting established internationals and emerging Test contenders during their visit in June.

Adding to a schedule headlined by their Cook Cup showdowns with the Wallabies on 12 June in Perth and 19 June in Sydney, England will also play the Australian Barbarians on the Tuesday before each Test as part of the Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series.

The Australian Barbarians will take on the 2003 Rugby World Cup champions and 2007 runners-up at ME Bank Stadium in Perth, home of the Western Force, on June 8.

The match will be the first the Australian Barbarians have played against a visiting international side since downing Scotland 39-34 at Penrith in 1998.

The second game against England will be staged at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on 15 June.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans welcomed the addition of the two Australian Barbarians fixtures to the England tour schedule.

"These games provide massive benefit for both the Qantas Wallabies program and Australian Rugby as a whole," Deans said.

"The mid-week matches we played on our spring tour last year were a great example of the benefits the additional international exposure provides.

"Quade Cooper played his way into our side for the Test against England the following weekend when we played Gloucester.

"Kurtley Beale also excelled that night, and wound up playing his first Test later in the trip.

"Luke Morahan then made his debut for the Wallabies at Cardiff, and has subsequently kicked on this year with the Queensland Reds."

The two matches in Perth will be the first England has played in the city since starting their triumphant 2003 Rugby World Cup campaign.

The tour will also mark the return of Jonny Wilkinson to Australia, pending selection, for the first time since his memorable role in the securing of the William Webb Ellis Cup.

The England squad, after four matches in Australia, will conclude their Southern Hemisphere tour with a game against the New Zealand Maori in Napier on June 23.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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