Sunday 18 March 2018

Australia arrange Munster clash

The Wallabies will play Munster in Limerick on November 16. Photo: Getty Images
The Wallabies will play Munster in Limerick on November 16. Photo: Getty Images

Australia will once again play midweek matches on their Autumn Tour of Europe later this year with a showdown against former Heineken Cup champions Munster on the agenda.

The full schedule for the tour is yet to be finalised but the Wallabies will play Irish province Munster in Limerick on November 16.

Coach Robbie Deans is happy to play the extra midweek matches as it gives him a chance to see some of the younger players strut their stuff.

"The additional non-Test matches that we have played on our last two Northern Hemisphere tours have been of great benefit to Australian Rugby, in terms of exposing players, and we expect this trip to be no different," said Deans.

"Last year, guys played their way into the Test side for our game against England during the midweek Tour match at Gloucester, while a few of the young players who made their debuts later on at Cardiff are now starring for their provinces in the Super 14, which highlights the benefit we have already had from these games.

"To be able to play Munster - one of the true powerhouse provinces of the European game - will be a great experience for our players, while also providing an excellent development opportunity."

Munster have a great record against the Australians with wins in 1967, 1980 and in 1992 when an injury-time drop goal by local hero Jim Galvin defeated the then world champions.

Wallabies assistant coach Jim Williams, who spent six years at Munster as a player, a captain and later a forward mentor, said the game at Thomond Park will be an unforgettable occasion for the Aussies.

"It will be a huge night," he said. "Knowing the passion the people of Munster have for the game, and how they get behind their team, it's going to be a massive match for us.

"Matches against international sides are rare for club teams these days, and you saw what it meant to Munster two years ago when they last had the opportunity to play an international side. They led the All Blacks until late in the game before going down 18-16.

"That was a cracking game. The atmosphere inside Thomond Park looked incredible, and it surely lifted the players, as it will again when we play there. Munster has great depth."

Press Association

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