Australia’s final preparations before the 2015 Rugby World Cup will include a two week tour of the USA and a historic match against the Eagles at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday 5 September. The match will be the Wallabies’ first Test in the States in almost 40 years and will be just the forth time the Australians have played on US soil. The Aussies played against the United States for the first time ever in a tour match in Berkeley in 1912, a game which was not classified as a Test.
Australia played its maiden Test match against the USA in Los Angeles in 1976, in a game that marked the Eagles’ first ever Test on the world stage. It will also form a major part of Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika’s plans ahead of England, with the Australians flying from the States to London ahead of their match against Fiji on Wednesday 23 September in Cardiff. Cheika says: ‘The lead up and match will be a critical part of our preparations before we head to England. Although we haven’t met on many occasions, there’s a rich history between our two Rugby nations, with the Eagles playing their first ever Test match against the Wallabies some 40 years ago. We know it will be a spirited encounter for that very reason and look forward to playing in front of a big Chicago crowd.’
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said the tour would also provide significant strategic benefits for the organisation: ‘The opportunity to bring the Wallabies to a new market in the United States is a major boost for our code in Australia and opens the door to significant future commercial opportunities. The match also has significant revenue benefits for the ARU during a 2015 season where the Qantas Wallabies play only two Test matches on home soil. We want to thank USA Rugby for making this opportunity possible, in what will be an important two weeks for the Wallabies.’
The Aussies remain unbeaten in seven Test matches played against the Americans, with their most recent match coming in Wellington during 2011.
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