Wales to host southern hemisphere giants in autumn Test series

London (AFP) –


Six Nations champions Wales will host world champions South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji in their autumn Test series, rugby chiefs announced on Monday.

The All Blacks, making their first visit to Cardiff since 2017, kick off the series at the Principality Stadium on October 30 and will offer Wayne Pivac’s squad a stern test as Wales seek a first win in the fixture since 1953.

They take on the Springboks the following weekend in a repeat of the 2019 World Cup semi-final in Japan before a game against Fiji on November 14.

Wales round off their schedule against the Wallabies, aiming for a third consecutive win against them for just the second time since the two teams first met in 1908.

"This is a huge autumn series fixture list and we are already looking forward to it, especially with the prospect of having supporters back at Principality Stadium," said head coach Pivac, whose team won the 2021 Six Nations, played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

"It would be close to 21 months since we have had the chance to play in front of our fans at our home stadium, so it is hugely exciting to have the fixtures announced."

The Welsh Rugby Union is hoping to stage the matches in front of a capacity 74,500 crowd as Covid-19 restrictions are eased across Britain.

Steve Phillips, WRU Group CEO said: "It is our aim and ambition to deliver the Autumn Nations Series 2021 with full crowds.

"We are working alongside Welsh government and Public Health Wales to ensure this is done correctly and safely."