The Qantas Wallabies will host Ireland in the first three-Test series ever played between the two nations in June next year.
The three Tests will be played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane (June 9), Melbourne’s AAMI Park (June 16) and Sydney’s Allianz Stadium (June 23).
The tour was announced as President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins visited the Australian Rugby headquarters at Moore Park, during his State Visit to Australia.
Ireland, the current world number 4, won both of their two most-recent encounters with the Wallabies by a three-point margin (2014 and 2016, both in Dublin) but have not played a Test in Australia since 2010.
The Irish have played two Test matches on tour against the Wallabies on four previous occasions (1979, 1994, 1999 and 2003) but never has the Lansdowne Cup been contested over three matches.
President Higgins is an avid rugby supporter, and Patron of the IRFU. Since his inauguration in 2011 the President has attended some 30 women’s and men’s senior international matches, including many matches between Ireland and Australia.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said: “We were honoured to be joined by the President today at our new headquarters in Moore Park and look forward to welcoming Ireland for what will be an outstanding three-Test series in June next year.
“The rivalry between the two nations has grown enormously in recent years with some memorable encounters. With a huge number of Irish expats living in Australia, Ireland will enjoy strong support when they are here for matches in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.”
IRFU CEO Philip Browne said: “The IRFU are delighted to tour Australia in June 2018. Games involving Ireland and Australia are always great occasions and this will be an exciting tour. The Irish diaspora are renowned for supporting the Irish team when they visit their new homes so we know there will be a party atmosphere to match the world class rugby.”
Australia and Ireland have met on 33 occasions in Test matches with the Wallabies holding a healthy lead in the head-to-head stakes with 21 wins to Ireland’s 11. The lone draw between the two nations was played out in 2009 at Croke Park.
The Wallabies have an even more imposing record over the Irish at home, having not lost to them on Aussie soil since 1979.
Tickets for Leinster Rugby’s Champions Cup clash with Exeter Chiefs at Aviva Stadium are on sale now. Supporters can avail of special offers, including two premium tickets for €90, from ticketmaster.ie.