Adelaide to host historic Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Adelaide to host historic Test

By Melissa Woods 14/04/2004 07:01:34 PM Comments (0)

Canberra has again been snubbed as a Test venue with the Australian Rugby Union announcing an historic match between the Wallabies and a combined Pacific Island team will be played in Adelaide.

The best of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga rugby will join together in a British and Irish Lions style touring side, with the July 3 Test the first ever, followed by matches against New Zealand and South Africa.

The combined lineup will be missing a major drawcard with Fijian flyer Rupeni Caucaunibuca out for six months after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this month which prematurely ended his Super 12 season.

Still, Wallabies coach Eddie Jones predicted a tough contest against the power of the Samoans and Tongans and pace of the Fijians.

With the European season on summer hiatus, the team will also include those playing for England clubs such as veteran Samoan hooker Trevor Leota, who was forced to make himself unavailable for the World Cup when his club said it wouldn't pay him while on international duty.

"The Pacific Islanders will be a formidable challenge for the Wallabies," Jones said.

"Like the British and Irish Lions, they are made up of the best players from top quality international teams.

"The islanders generally play with a lot of flair and natural talent. They like to throw the ball around and run it from anywhere, which usually makes for a fast, free-flowing match."

The home of the Super 12-leading Brumbies and Adelaide were the two contenders for the Test, with the ARU giving the South Australian capital, an AFL city, the nod.

An ACT Rugby spokesman said Canberra had been "dudded again".

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