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About Australia

Gloucester Rugby are delighted to announce that they will be playing the Qantas Wallabies at Kingsholm on Tuesday 3 November 2009 (19:45).

Kingsholm has been the scene of many memorable games over the years, including Gloucester facing the All Blacks in 1905, South Africa in 1906 and the visit of the 1924 All Blacks who were nicknamed 'The Invincibles'.

This clash between the Cherry and Whites and the Green and Golds promises to rank up there with the very best of them and.

The fixture scheduled for 19:45 on the evening of Tuesday 3 November forms part of the Qantas Wallabies autumn programme which kicks off with a fixture in Tokyo against the All Blacks.

Australia then travel to the UK to take on Gloucester and follow up with fixtures against England (Twickenham, 7 November), Ireland (Croke Park, 15 November), Scotland (Murrayfield, 21 November) and Wales (Millennium Stadium, 28 November).

Securing a prestigious fixture of this nature is a huge achievement for Gloucester Rugby and only possible due to the hard work of many people including Mike Burton, former Gloucester, England and British & Irish Lions prop and chairman of leading sports management company the Mike Burton Group.

Gloucester Rugby's Managing Director Ken Nottage said:

"I am absolutely delighted to be able to announce the visit of the Australian national team to Kingsholm and grateful to the RFU and Premier Rugby Limited for allowing it to happen. And, of course, thanks to Mike whose contacts were very important."

"Everyone at Gloucester Rugby is working hard to establish Kingsholm as one of the premier rugby venues in Europe. We have been fortunate enough to stage U20 internationals, a European Challenge Cup Final, the Barbarians vs Ireland and are amongst the proposed venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup."

"Welcoming a team of the stature of Australia to Kingsholm further boosts our credentials in this respect and we are all looking forward to this fixture hugely."

It won't be the first time that the Australian national side has appeared at Kingsholm as they took on Gloucestershire when the first Australian representative team, the first Wallabies, visited the UK in 1908.

Recent seasons have seen respected Australian internationals such as Jason Little and Jeremy Paul have both worn the Cherry and White shirt in recent times whilst Richard Tombs was one of the club's very first, and most popular, overseas signings.

However, the opportunity to see the full Australian side in action at Kingsholm is a unique one and sure to feature in future updates of the Gloucester Rugby Heritage Project which was unveiled recently.

ARU reaction to midweek match against Gloucester

The Qantas Wallabies have added further historical overtones to their Grand Slam tour of the UK and Ireland by agreeing to play a midweek match against English club side Gloucester.
The match will be staged on Tuesday, November 3, just three days after a ground-breaking Bledisloe Cup game in Tokyo and four days before the Wallabies open their first Grand Slam campaign in 25 years against England at Twickenham.

It will also be the first time an Australian national team has played at Kingsholm - home ground of Gloucester Rugby - since the inaugural Wallabies beat county side Gloucestershire 16-3 during their famous 1908-09 tour.

Those initial Wallabies left Sydney by steamship 101 years ago without a moniker and known only as the Australian Rugby Union team.

However, attempts by British media to label them the "Rabbits" led to a players' vote during the trip and majority support for the Wallabies name ahead of other contenders including the Waratahs, Wallaroos and Kookaburras.

The First Wallabies further etched their names into Australian sporting folklore by winning, midway through the tour, the Olympic gold medal for Rugby at the London Games.

"The history surrounding this tour is compelling and we're delighted a match against Gloucester will deepen the links to some great Wallabies teams of the past," said ARU Managing Director and CEO John O'Neill.

"This will be the first Grand Slam attempt since the 1984 squad coached by Alan Jones and captained by Andrew Slack became the first Australians to triumph, on the same tour, against four the Home Unions of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

"There were great names throughout the team. The backline included legends in Mark Ella, Nick Farr-Jones, Michael Lynagh, David Campese and Roger Gould.

"The pack too included some of our all time greats and among the finest players in their respective positions, including Simon Poidevin, Tom Lawton and his front row partners Andy McIntyre and Enrique Rodriguez."

Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said the match against Gloucester, while linking the current squad to the past, was also about the future.

"We want to provide players with the opportunity to wear the national jersey and build competition for places in the Test side," he said.

"The match against Gloucester will fulfill that objective and give our players an early taste of British conditions against one of the leading clubs in Europe."

England Test centre Mike Tindall, who played in his country's victorious 2003 Rugby World Cup campaign in Australia, is the present Gloucester captain.

Several former Wallabies have also played at the club in recent years.

Centre Richard Tombs, a member of the 1999 World Cup squad, was one of Gloucester's first overseas signings while long-serving Test stars Jason Little and Jeremy Paul have also had stints at the club.