World Rugby has confirmed details of the November test schedule, including an extensive programme of tier one v tier two fixtures as Rugby World Cup 2019 preparations continue in earnest.
World Rugby is committed to assisting unions close the competition gap through targeted high performance investment in competitions and coaching expertise and is committed to injecting £37.6 million into high performance unions during the 2016-19 cycle.
Among the standout tier one v tier two clashes in November, Japan will welcome Australia to the International Stadium in Yokohama, the venue for the Rugby World Cup 2019 final, before meeting France and Tonga in France. Fiji will travel to Europe to take on Six Nations teams Ireland and Italy while Samoa face England and Scotland. Georgia will face Wales for the first time at the Principality Stadium along with hosting Canada and USA during the international window, which sees a total of 45 fixtures take place.
World Rugby Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan said: “World Rugby is committed to supporting tier two nations in their competition programmes with the objective of improving competitiveness and providing the players and coaching staff with relevant and meaningful test matches.
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“This year’s November window, in particular, provides us with an important benchmarking opportunity when we can assess each union’s progress against our HP investment programme objectives and also see where unions stand with regard to their technical planning for RWC 2019.
“Our direct investment of more than £28 million in high performance programmes to support tier two unions over the four-year cycle shows our commitment to closing the competitiveness gap further as we work towards Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.”
The announcement comes during a busy month as the governing body gets set for the World Rugby Hall of Fame inductions in Rugby, England on 10 November, the Rugby World Cup 2023 host announcement on 15 November in London and the World Rugby Awards on 26 November in Monaco.