February 7, 2020 / 4:33 AM / 13 days ago

Wallabies return to Newcastle for first time in eight years

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby Test - Japan Brave Blossoms v Australia Wallabies - Nissan stadium, Yokohama, Japan - November 4, 2017 - Australia's Tevita Kuridrani celebrates with teammates after scoring a try. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Wallabies will return to Newcastle for the first time in eight years when they host Argentina in the Rugby Championship in September.

It will be the first Rugby Championship match to be played in Newcastle, which is also hosting the New South Wales Waratahs clash with the Auckland Blues in Super Rugby on Saturday.

The Wallabies have only played once in Newcastle, losing to Scotland 9-6 in torrential rain in 2012. The match was current captain Michael Hooper’s test debut.

Last year, the Australian women’s side the Wallaroos played a test against Japan in Newcastle, which is about two hours north of Sydney.

“Newcastle is a sports-mad city and the support for both men’s and women’s rugby is almost second to none across the country,” Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle said in a statement on Friday.

“We can’t wait to showcase the Wallabies in one of our strongest rugby communities and getting out and about in the community to allow locals to get up close and personal with the team.”

Rugby Australia are hosting several matches outside of Sydney until 2022 as the Olympic Stadium is refurbished and the Sydney Football Stadium rebuilt, although the Wallabies will play Ireland at the famed Sydney Cricket Ground on July 11.

They announced last week their Rugby Championship clash with world champions South Africa would be played on Aug. 29 in Perth.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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