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Wallabies face tough start to championship

Date
Wallabies flanker David Pocock.

Wallabies flanker David Pocock. Photo: Getty Images

 Australia face another daunting start to the Rugby Championship with back-to-back clashes against the world champion All Blacks to kick off their 2013 campaign.

Governing body SANZAR released the draw for the second instalment of the four-nation tournament on Tuesday. The order of matches is the same as last year but some venues differ.

The Wallabies open the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup series at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, August 17, and must recoup to face New Zealand again seven days later on their home soil.

If there's a silver lining for Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, it is that his men won't have to play the All Blacks at their graveyard, Auckland's Eden Park. That match is scheduled for Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

Last year the Wallabies were swamped 22-0 in their bid to break a 26-year drought at Eden Park and the match sealed New Zealand's 10th straight year holding the Bledisloe Cup.

Australia must win one of the first two fixtures against New Zealand to keep alive hopes of stealing back the Bledisloe. A third match will be played after the Rugby Championship on October 19.

The third Bledisloe is slated for Dunedin, so the Wallabies will avoid Eden Park altogether for only the second time in nine years.

In round three of the Championship, Australia face South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on September 7 then fly to Perth to tackle Argentina a week later.

The Wallabies finish the program with away matches to the Springboks on September 28 in Cape Town and Argentina in Rosario on October 5.

Australia should be well prepared for the Rugby Championship, given they will be coming off a testing three-Test home series against the British and Irish Lions.

Last year Australia finished second in the Rugby Championship but were 14 points adrift of winners New Zealand.

AAP

 

Bledisloe Cup

Bledisloe Cup
Sat, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
AUS 12 vs NZL 12 20:05ANZ
Sat, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NZL 51 vs AUS 20 17:35EP
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 28 vs NZL 29 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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