There will be no easy cruising into next year’s Rugby World Cup for the Wallabies who will face the All Blacks in back-to-back Tests in August.
The Wallabies face a harrowing back-to-back All Black warm-up for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Compared to their brutal pre-tournament build-up, the pool of death will look like a friendly oasis when Australia gets to England in September for the showpiece event.
SANZAR’s release of next year’s draw for The Rugby Championship shows the battling world No.4-ranked Wallabies will play consecutive Bledisloe Tests at the end of their abbreviated domestic Test calendar.
Australia will kick-off their TRC campaign – reduced from six matches to three due to the World Cup – against South Africa at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on July 18.
They then play Argentina away the following week before clashes with the All Blacks on August 8 and 15.
The first trans-Tasman match, to be staged at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, will count towards the championship while the second will be a stand-alone Bledisloe clash at Eden Park in Auckland.
The Wallabies have not beaten New Zealand since they won the 2011 Tri-Nations decider three years ago, and their last Bledisloe win at the All Blacks’ spiritual home of Eden Park was way back in 1986.
Australia will travel to the United Kingdom less than a month later where they face England and Wales in their final two pool matches after starting against Fiji and Uruguay.
The condensed TRC kicks off a fortnight after the July 4 Super Rugby final, but venues in Argentina and South Africa are still to be confirmed.
THE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW FOR 2015
ROUND 1 Friday 17 July: New Zealand v Argentina – AMI Stadium, Christchurch Saturday 18 July: Australia v South Africa – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
ROUND 2 Saturday 25 July: South Africa v New Zealand – Venue TBC Saturday 25 July: Argentina v Australia – Venue TBC
ROUND 3 Saturday 8 August: Australia v New Zealand – ANZ Stadium, Sydney Saturday 8 August: South Africa v Argentina – Venue TBC
ADDITIONAL WEEK (not for competition points): Saturday 15 August: New Zealand v Australia – Eden Park, Auckland Saturday 15 August: Argentina v South Africa – Venue TBC