THE WALLABIES and All Blacks will kickoff next year’s inaugural Rugby Championship.
The four-team tournament replaces the Tri Nations with Argentina set to join the fold in 2012.
Under the tournament format, each team will play six games on a home and away basis.
The Wallabies and All Blacks will kick things off in at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on August 18 in a match which also doubles as a Bledisloe Cup test.
The first two Bledisloe Cup tests – the other is on August 25 at Eden Park – will be incorporated in the new competition.
However, the third – to be played in Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on October 20 – will not be part of the tournament.
It means the first two tests are a week apart, while there is a two-month wait before the potential decider.
A third Bledisloe Cup test each year is a long-term prospect, with New Zealand and Australia to alternate hosting of the fixture.
The Wallabies’ other home games are against South Africa in Perth on September 8 and Argentina on the Gold Coast on September 15.
The test against the Pumas will be the first Australia has played on the Gold Cost.
Venues for South Africa and Argentina’s home games have yet to be confirmed.
Fixtures have been scheduled in two-week blocks with week-long travel byes in between to balance additional travel requirements due to the inclusion of a fourth team.
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With the series level, expect both teams to put it all on the line as they seek to win the deciding test in Sydney on Saturday night.