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November a WC warm-up for Australia
16 Apr 2014 10:10
Australia's 2015 World Cup preparations will be well tested on their end-of-season European tour in November with coach Ewen McKenzie trying to replicate their potential campaign for the Webb Ellis trophy as much as possible.
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McKenzie's side will play five matches on five successive weekends, which includes a November 22 clash with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
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They will also face World Cup Pool A opponents England and Wales. and northern hemisphere heavyweights France on the tour.
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In a possible nod to their pool schedule at the 2015 World Cup they open this year's tour on 1 November against an invitational Barbarians side before embarking on the tests against Wales, France, Ireland and England on successive weekends.
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Australia face a qualifier from Oceania, which is likely to be the hard-running Fiji side, in Cardiff in their first match in the 2015 global showpiece.
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They play Wales and England in their final two pool matches in 2015 and if they qualify for the quarter-finals will need to win three tense knockout games to become the first side to claim the Webb Ellis trophy for a third time.
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"With the rugby World Cup just a year away in England, we have scheduled five games against five teams that will bring a different style to each," McKenzie said in an Australian Rugby Union statement.
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"We've got England and Wales in our pool for the rugby World Cup and big improvers in France and Ireland, who just won the Six Nations. That will be a good challenge for us.
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"We'll also get a chance to play two games at Twickenham - the venue where two of our pool games will take place as part of a tour - that should help further our preparations ahead of the World Cup."
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