07 March 2018

Tickets on sale for Wallabies-Ireland Test

Tickets are on sale for the Wallabies blockbuster Test at Allianz Stadium against Ireland on June 23.

They say good things come in threes. That’s true for fairy tales, Hollywood blockbusters and international rugby as Australia gear up for a massive series against Ireland in June.

This will be bigger than Scotland and on par with England’s visit in 2016, which attracted a record attendance of 44,063 at Allianz Stadium – the largest crowd for a sporting event.

It will be the first three-Test series between the two nations and Ireland’s first time playing the Wallabies in the precinct since matches at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1967, 1979 and 1994.

The rivalry will be at its peak. Ireland haven’t won a match on Australian soil since their second clash at the SCG in June of ’79 – a scrappy 9-3 win to clinch the two-match series.

The Wallabies dominated Ireland from then on, losing just four of the 23 matches between the two sides, including their only draw in 2009. Overall, Australia’s winning record stands at 21-11.

But the Landsdowne Cup has found home in Dublin of late, with Ireland winning their last two encounters against the men in gold – a 26-23 win in 2014 and a 27-24 win in 2016 during the Wallabies’ spring tour.

Ireland and Australia avoided each other at the most recent Rugby World Cup and this series is shaping as a serious challenge to kick off the Wallabies’ international season.

Ireland are arguably the form team in Europe at moment, having knocked off France in the Six Nations, with a thrilling field goal by fly-half Jonathan Sexton the difference at Stade de France.

They have a formidable forward pack but Sexton’s experience in the backline is starting to fill the void left by Brian O’Driscoll, which Ireland have been so desperately searching for ever since he retired in 2014.

Sexton, much like Dan Carter, Ronan O’Gara and Matt Giteau, has defied expectation on the field after turning 30 years old and will be a crucial cog in the chain for their tri-series against Australia.

The Wallabies will play Ireland on June 9 in Brisbane and on June 16 in Melbourne before travelling to Allianz Stadium for the traditional third match of the tour on June 23.

It will be a farewell Test for the venue before its reconstruction and Australia will be hunting for revenge after Ireland spoiled their most recent shot at the Grand Slam in 2016.

A stirring second-half comeback, which saw Australia score three straight tries, wasn’t enough to nullify the Irish attack who were too good on the day, even without their key playmaker Sexton.

The win completed Ireland’s first-ever trio of victories over the southern hemisphere’s big three and should have every Wallabies fan on red alert ahead of this series.

Expect the huge contingent of Irish expats in Sydney to turn the pubs of Paddington green as international rugby makes a timely return to the SCG precinct.