Wallabies to host Fiji, Scotland, Italy in 2017

Date published: November 3 2016

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The Wallabies will play Fiji, Scotland and Italy in home Tests in 2017, with all three June Series internationals to be played in the afternoon.

Australia will take on Fiji (Melbourne), Scotland (Sydney) and Italy (Brisbane), with all matches to kick off at 3pm local time, the first time this has occurred since the professional era began.

The move is one that echoes the traditions of the Northern Hemisphere countries, who play in the afternoons often because of the climate and it's a move sure to please plenty of families.

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver said fans had expressed a desire for more afternoon rugby.

"Fans have told us that they would like more opportunities to watch Test Rugby in the afternoon, with clearly the biggest reason being that an afternoon timeslot makes it much easier to take the family along," he told the ARU's official website.

"The 3pm kick off across all of our June Test matches for 2017 gives fans, particularly our youngest fans, the opportunity to come out see the Wallabies play at a time that’s more convenient for families and to experience the game in the best rectangular stadiums in the country.

"We set new attendance records at Allianz Stadium and AAMI Park during our England Series this year and had another very strong crowd at Suncorp Stadium. 

"All three venues are purpose-built for Rugby and the afternoon kick offs always attract strong interest and create a tremendous atmosphere not just in the Stadiums but right across the cities."

Currently on a five-week end-of-year tour that features four twilight games, Wallabies rookie Reece Hodge said he welcomed any chance to play in the daytime.

"I think as a kid growing up and also through club rugby most of the games are in the afternoon," he said.

"It’s really conducive to attacking football, obviously you don’t get as much dew on the ground and the conditions are a bit more comfortable for playing that attacking rugby."

Wallabies 2017 June Test schedule:

June 10: Wallabies v Fiji at AAMI Park, Melbourne
June 17: Wallabies v Scotland at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
June 24: Wallabies v Italy at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

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