Perth has won the right to host the opening Test between the Wallabies and England, while the Wallaroos will commence their Rugby World Cup preparations with Tests against Japan and Fijiana in Queensland.
Rugby Australia on Tuesday unveiled the fixtures for its opening Test series of 2022, with international rugby set to return to Sydney for the first time since December 2020, with the SCG to host the finale of the series against England.
The decision to take the third Test to the SCG will divide opinion, given it is not a rectangular stadium. Unfortunately, the new Sydney Football Stadium won’t be ready in time, though Rugby Australia is set to host one of the Wallabies’ back-to-back Tests against the Springboks at the venue in September.
Brisbane, meanwhile, will host the second Test against England at Suncorp Stadium.
It is excellent news for the Wallaroos, too, with Australia to chase the conclusion of Super W in three weeks’ time with a tri-series against Fijiana and Japan. The Wallaroos will face Fijiana at Suncorp Stadium on May 6, followed by the Brave Blossoms four days later at Bond University.
“We are excited to announce these blockbuster international fixtures for both the Wallabies and the Wallaroos in what’s an important year for both our teams as we continue to build towards key milestones in our playing calendars,” Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos said.
“2022 will be exciting year for Rugby in Australia and for all Australians to get behind their two national teams.
“The international window kicks off with the Wallaroos who have a massive year ahead of them. These early Tests against Fijiana and Japan will be an important set of games for the ladies to put down a marker for the rest of the year and build on the momentum off the back of the Super W competition. These two matches coupled with the Pacific Four Test series in New Zealand and finishing off with their final home Test against New Zealand will be vital for their preparations for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year.
“Whilst we are playing and preparing our ladies for their internationals we are looking forward to welcoming England and Eddie back to Australia in July for what will be a highlight on the Australian sporting calendar in 2022. As we have a few wrongs to right from our encounter in November last year, both teams will be looking to build momentum leading into the 2023 RWC and set down some clear markers.
“To be able to host them in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, the latter of which haven’t seen the Wallabies play live since 2020, is a really exciting opportunity for all Australians and those travelling from overseas.
“The rivalry between Australia and England is one that runs deep across many sports, and we look to forward to writing another chapter in its history this July.”
The Wallabies have not beaten England since the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with Eddie Jones boasting a perfect 8-0 against the country of his birth, including a clean sweep of the three-Test series when England last toured in 2016.
“It’s extremely exciting to have the England Series here on home soil to kick off our 2022 season,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.
“We talk a lot about wanting to challenge ourselves against the best teams in the world and three Test matches in a row against England is the perfect opportunity to do that.
“It’s always special when Australia and England meet in the sporting arena and we’re looking forward to seeing plenty of gold jerseys in the stands during July.
“There’s not many bigger Tests in World Rugby than when the Wallabies play England and we’re looking forward to seeing plenty of gold jerseys in the stands during July.”
Later in the year, the Wallaroos will contest the Pacific Four series against New Zealand, Canada and the United States, but the tri-series in Queensland will afford Australia the opportunity to test out some new combinations beforehand as they start the run to the World Cup across the Tasman.
“There’s been an immense amount of preparation for these upcoming Test matches and the playing group, as well as the coaching staff, are itching to get their national campaign back underway,” Wallaroos coach Jay Tregonning said.
“Over the past two years the entire women’s program has been building towards the next Wallaroos test season and these upcoming matches are a crucial part in our preparation for the Rugby World Cup.”
Wallabies v England, Saturday 2 July, 5:55pm AWST/7:55pm AEST at Optus Stadium, Perth
Wallabies v England, Saturday 9 July, 7:55pm AEST at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Wallabies v England, Saturday 16 July, 7:55pm AEST at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Wallaroos v Fijiana, Friday 6 May, TBC, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Wallaroos v Japan, Tuesday 10 May, TBC, Bond University, Gold Coast