And so it begins.
Super Rugby has had its all-New Zealand final, and just a few days later, the All Blacks kick off the pre-World Cup test series with an historic visit to Samoa. Talk about no rest for the wicked!!!
Over the past week or so the official test jerseys have been revealed for some of the competing nations...we understand the Irish one is to be launched next week, though we reckon by imagining the English Canterbury one in green and of course with an IRFU logo you'd just about have it.
There's also the "small" matter of the so-called 2015 "Rugby Championship" to be played between now and the World Cup, but this year the schedule has been "truncated" to four instead of six rounds, only three of which actually count toward the standings. No, I don't get it either.
Anywho...it all starts from tonight as the 73 days between now and the big kickoff are filled, and here at HoR Manor we'll be keeping an eye on the progress of all the top protagonists.
For the table below we have featured the pre-RWC2015 matches for the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship nations, plus Canada and Romania. Ireland's pool opponents are featured in light green.
One thing's for sure...when we play Canada in our first Pool D fixture on September 19 at the Millennium Stadium, our opponents won't be able to say they're not prepared! That's quite a busy schedule they have set for themselves.
Bring it on!!! JLP
|Wed Jul 8||Samoa v New Zealand||Apia|
|Sat Jul 11||South Africa v World XV||Cape Town|
|Fri Jul 17||New Zealand v Argentina||Christchurch|
|Sat Jul 18||Canada v Japan||San Jose|
|Australia v South Africa||Brisbane|
|Fri Jul 24||Canada v Tonga||Burnaby|
|Sat Jul 25||Argentina v Australia||Mendoza|
|South Africa v New Zealand||Ellis Park|
|Wed Jul 29||Canada v Samoa||Toronto|
|Sat Aug 1||Uruguay v Argentina||Montevideo|
|Mon Aug 3||Pacific Nations Cup playoffs||Burnaby|
|Sat Aug 8||Wales v Ireland||Millennium Stadium|
|South Africa v Argentina||Durban|
|Australia v New Zealand||Sydney|
|Sat Aug 15||Argentina v South Africa||TBD|
|Yorkshire Carnegie v Romania||Leeds|
|Ireland v Scotland||Aviva Stadium|
|New Zealand v Australia||Auckland|
|England v France||Twickenham|
|Sat Aug 22||Italy v Scotland||Turin|
|France v England||Stade de France|
|Edinburgh v Romania||TBC|
|Canada v USA||Ottawa|
|Sat Aug 29||Scotland v Italy||Murrayfield|
|Canada v Glasgow Warriors||Halifax, NS|
|Ireland v Wales||Aviva Stadium|
|Wed Sep 2||Canada v Georgia||Hersham|
|Sat Sep 5||France v Scotland||Stade de France|
|USA v Australia||Chicago|
|Leicester Tigers v Argentina||Welford Road|
|Romania v Tonga||TBC|
|England v Ireland||Twickenham|
|Wales v Italy||Millennium Stadium|
|Sun Sep 6||Canada v Fiji||Twickenham Stoop|
source = WorldRugby.org