The International Rugby Season is just around the corner with the Rugby Championship having reached its conclusion and you can be assured the Wallabies are focused on finishing strong ahead of the upcoming World Cup. The quest for redemption begins with the Spring Tour against Wales, Italy and England, and you won’t miss a minute of the action when watching at home on TV or streaming the matches live to your mobile device.
2018 Wallabies Rugby Preview
We are just months away until the 2019 Rugby World Cup and that will be a point of focus for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. He has said himself that if he doesn’t have success at the World Cup, he will walk away, and the preparation begins now. There’s a lot he can take out of the Rugby Championship, a series of contests that was world class with exciting footy combined with gritty and tough defence when it was needed. That sort of game style will be the formula in order to help the Wallabies have success against Wales, Italy and England during November’s Spring Tour, which includes matches at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Stadio Euganeo in Padua and the iconic Twickenham in London. Wales is currently the number three ranked side in Rugby Union, England is just behind them at number four, while Italy sits in the fourteenth position. Australia is ranked seventh, but there is no doubting that if the Wallabies can play at their best, they are in with a big chance.
When: November 11-25
Where: Wales, Italy, England
The squad for the Tour is an interesting one. Cheika has recalled three players from overseas duties to play for Australia. The biggest shock was clearly veteran back Adam Ashley-Cooper, who has been playing Rugby in Japan and hasn’t represented the Wallabies for a couple of years but has been called in to provide experience and perhaps mentor the younger generation who will take this side into the 2019 World Cup. The three tests will all be intriguing battles. Wales are coming off a hard fought win over Scotland and will look to carry on their good form. England, who will benefit from a strong crowed at Twickenham, will be a daunting task for Australia, and Italy will be looking to put on a show in front of their fans.
Wallabies Live TV Times (AEDT)
Sunday 11 November LIVE: Wales v Wallabies at 4.20am (beIN Sports 1/SBS)
Sunday 11 November replay: Wales v Wallabies 9am – 11am (beIN Sports 3)
Sunday 18 November LIVE: Italy v Wallabies at 1.00am (beIN Sports 1/SBS)
Sunday 25 November LIVE: England v Wallabies at 2.00am (beIN Sports 1/SBS)
Shown as Sydney time on Fox Sports, adjust for regional differences. Full Wallabies TV replays will be available on Fox Sports during the month. See upcoming Wallabies fixtures below.
Watch or Stream the Wallabies Live
You may not find every match of the 2018 Wallabies Spring Tour on Free to Air TV in Australia (SBS) in your location, but beIN Sports (Foxtel) will be broadcasting every contest LIVE, in HD, and with no ad-breaks during play.
Australian residents may wish to review the Foxtel from Telstra Sports Combo which includes Wallabies online streaming options and is currently available at good value. With the Sports Combo pack you can watch the matches at home, or if you’re out and about you can stream the Wallabies free to eligible mobile devices using the Foxtel Go App.
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2018 Bledisloe Cup
Saturday 18 August LIVE: Wallabies v All Blacks at 8.05pm (Foxtel/Ten)
Saturday 25 August LIVE: All Blacks v Wallabies at 5.35pm (Foxtel/Ten)
Saturday 27 Oct LIVE: All Blacks v Wallabies at 4.30pm (Foxtel/Ten)
While the Rugby Championship defence is important for the Wallabies, coach Michael Cheika clearly has eyes on the prize that is the 2018 Bledisloe Cup, naming a squad filled with long standing experience, notably from Europe, with the likes of Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell named in the 33 man squad. Will Genia has also been named, hoping to find his feet given he hasn’t played since January to injury.
The Wallabies will be keen to get some respect after a poor recent series loss at the hands of former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones and the England side. They went within a lip of winning the World Cup last year and at their best, they can certainly challenge. The issue will be the scrum, which has been their major issue for a long, long time. If they can fix that, they have every chance of winning the Championship again, but don’t look for every exciting match involving Wallabies Free to Air in Australia.
New Zealand All Blacks
Coach Steve Hansen has openly stated that his main aim for this campaign is to win the Rugby Championship and not the Bledisloe Cup. The NZ All Blacks have named a pretty strong squad, but their big issue will be doing the job without Sonny Bill Williams, who ruptured his achilles during the Rugby 7’s at the Rio Olympics. The side though is still full of experience, with close to 950 caps covering the entire squad.
The All Blacks are still the dominant force in World Rugby, but the World Cup showed that they are not the invincible side they once were, and maybe the remaining three sides in the Rugby Championship see a golden opportunity to dismantle New Zealand from top spot.
South Africa Springboks
The Springboks played pretty well in a recent test series against Ireland and look well poised to do some damage in the 2016 Rugby Championship despite some controversial selections with the squad, with several big names left out. Seven changes have been made from the squad that played Ireland in said series.
Coach Allister Coetzee has made it clear that he is looking to expand the depth of his squad and get some much needed experience heading towards the future, with an eye towards the 2019 World Cup in Japan. The squad is well experienced though and they have a wonderful record when playing at home.
Argentina did okay in the World Cup last year and indeed in the Rugby Championship, causing some real headaches for all three sides. Coach Daniel Hourcade has picked a 33 man squad for the Championship, with six newcomers to the arena, including Marcos Kremer, who recently played in the U20 World Championships in Manchester, England.
The Pumas don’t have the depth to be a force in this Championship, but they are very capable of giving each of the three sides a serious game, as we saw in the Championship last year when they stunned South Africa in front of their home fans, so you surely want to watch this year’s Rugby Championship live.