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July Test schedule confirmed

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    Posted: 10-May-2021 at 11:26am

A strong revised programme of men’s test matches is set to take place in July after all unions and World Rugby agreed a revised schedule within the existing window. The revisions have been made recognising an ongoing and complex global COVID-19 picture while aiming to limit further impact. 

The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa headlines a busy July programme that will see 25 of the top 30 ranked unions in action with several hosting or being hosted for the first time since the pandemic began, including world champions South Africa and Rugby World Cup 2019 hosts Japan. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause disruption, the underpinning principle for the schedule was the fixtures agreed in San Francisco in 2017. Where it was not possible or practical to honour that schedule, the hosting rights were reversed with key arrangements met. Where this contingency has not been possible for COVID-19 reasons, World Rugby has facilitated discussions to confirm an alternative schedule for teams consisting of a minimum of two matches for unions who sought replacement fixtures.  

This means that Argentina, Japan, USA and Canada will now travel to the UK and Ireland, New Zealand will host tests against Fiji, and Georgia travel to South Africa. The Samoa versus Tonga Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier will also be hosted over two legs in New Zealand, creating a Pacific hub in the country across the July window. RWC 2023 qualifiers will also continue in Europe and get underway in Africa and South America.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “This has taken a monumental effort from all concerned. While there is light at the end of the tunnel in respect to COVID-19 in many nations, the challenges continue to be present, dynamic and impactful and therefore I would like to thank the unions, their respective governments, broadcast and commercial partners and players for their flexibility and full commitment to the process.

“Fans around the world can now look forward to an exciting bumper schedule of men’s test matches involving at least 25 teams, which will be a welcome sight for everyone. The road to Rugby World Cup 2023 also continues with key qualifiers for Samoa and Tonga and, of course, we are anticipating a fascinating British and Irish Lions series.”

World Rugby Vice-Chairman Bernard Laporte added: “Fans from all over the world will rejoice with this window of international rugby. I am delighted that match ups between northern and southern hemisphere teams can finally take place, this will act as a prelude to the exciting Rugby World Cup that we are all looking forward to in 2023.”

World Rugby and unions will continue to monitor the dynamic COVID-19 situation closely and respond if necessary, while any revisions to the November international programme will be confirmed in due course. World Rugby will also maintain its high performance support for emerging nations ahead of the July tests.” 

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “Confirmation of the programme of July tests is the culmination of a considerable amount of detailed consultation and planning across the respective unions. It is also a reflection of the strong collaboration across the game that characterises our drive to strengthen engagement with all stakeholders to deliver a more aligned, meaningful and effective men’s international calendar beyond Rugby World Cup 2023.”

World Rugby and unions will continue to monitor the dynamic COVID-19 situation closely and respond if necessary, while any revisions to the November International programme will be confirmed in due course. World Rugby will also maintain its high performance support for emerging nations ahead of the July tests. 

World Rugby continues to lead and facilitate focused and productive discussions with all stakeholders regarding the establishment of a globally integrated international calendar following Rugby World Cup 2023. International Rugby Players and the respective national leagues are central contributors within the dedicated working groups. Through these discussions, the sport is united in the mission to optimise the calendar for players, the international and club game.

Additionally, following the announcement of increased high performance support funding for RWC 2021 qualified and qualifier tests, World Rugby continues to be in discussion with unions regarding confirmation of a women’s test programme that will boost preparation for next year’s tournament.

DATECOMPETITIONMATCH VENUE
29-MayRugby Europe Championship play-off *Belgium v Netherlands 
26-JunBritish and Irish Lions tour British and Irish Lions v JapanBT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
26-JunRugby Europe Championship 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierGeorgia v Belgium/Netherlands 
26-JunPre-RWC 2023 qualification - South AmericaBrazil v Paraguay 
03-JulBritish and Irish Lions tour DHL Stormers v British and Irish LionsCape Town Stadium, Cape Town
03-JulJuly internationalSouth Africa v Georgia 
03-JulJuly internationalIreland v JapanAviva Stadium, Dublin
03-JulJuly internationalWales v CanadaPrincipality Stadium, Cardiff
03-JulRugby Europe Championship 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierSpain v RussiaEstadio El Pantano, Villajoyosa
03-JulPre-RWC 2023 qualification - South AmericaChile v Colombia 
03-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierNamibia v Ivory Coast 
03-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierKenya v Senegal 
04-JulJuly internationalEngland v USATwickenham Stadium, Twickenham
07-JulBritish and Irish Lions tour SA Invitation XV v British and Irish LionsNelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
07-JulJuly internationalAustralia v FranceSydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
07-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierIvory Coast v Madagascar 
07-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierSenegal v Zambia 
10-JulBritish and Irish Lions tour Cell C Sharks v British and Irish LionsJonsson Kings Park, Durban
10-JulJuly internationalNew Zealand v Fiji  
10-JulJuly internationalSouth Africa v Georgia 
10-JulRWC 2023 qualifier - Oceania 1, leg 1Samoa v Tonga 
10-JulJuly internationalEngland v CanadaTwickenham Stadium, Twickenham
10-JulJuly internationalRomania v ScotlandStadionul National Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest
10-JulJuly internationalIreland v USAAviva Stadium, Dublin
10-JulJuly internationalWales v ArgentinaPrincipality Stadium, Cardiff
10-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierRepechage RAC winner v Tunisia 
10-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierUganda v Ghana 
11-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierNamibia v Madagascar 
11-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierZambia v Kenya 
11-JulJuly internationalUruguay v Argentina XVEstadio Charrúa, Montevideo
11-JulRWC 2023 qualifier - Americas 1 (S America, match 1)Brazil/Paraguay v Chile/ColombiaEstadio Charrúa, Montevideo
13-JulJuly internationalAustralia v FranceAAMI Park, Melbourne
14-JulBritish and Irish Lions tour South Africa A v British and Irish LionsMbombela Stadium, Mbombela
14-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierGhana v Algeria 
14-JulRugby Africa Cup 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierRepechage RAC winner v Zimbabwe 
17-JulBritish and Irish Lions tour Vodacom Bulls v British and Irish LionsLoftus Versfeld, Pretoria
17-JulJuly internationalNew Zealand v Fiji  
17-JulJuly internationalAustralia v FranceSuncorp Stadium, Brisbane
17-JulRWC 2023 qualifier - Americas 1 (S America, match 2)Uruguay v Brazil/ParaguayEstadio Charrúa, Montevideo
17-JulRWC 2023 qualifier - Oceania 1, leg 2Tonga v Samoa 
17-JulJuly internationalGeorgia v Scotland 
17-JulJuly internationalWales v ArgentinaPrincipality Stadium, Cardiff
17-JulRugby Europe Championship 2021 / RWC 2023 qualifierRussia v PortugalNizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
18-JulRugby Africa Cup / RWC 2023 qualifierUganda v Algeria 
18-JulRugby Africa Cup / RWC 2023 qualifierTunisia v Zimbabwe 
24-JulBritish and Irish Lions tour South Africa v British and Irish LionsFNB National Stadium, Soweto
24-JulRWC 2023 qualifier - Americas 1 (S America, match 3)Uruguay v Chile/ColombiaEstadio Charrúa, Montevideo
31-JulBritish and Irish Lions tour South Africa v British and Irish LionsCape Town Stadium, Cape Town
07-AugBritish and Irish Lions tour South Africa v British and Irish LionsEmirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
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