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Page last updated at 23:16 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

England line up summer tour Tests against Australia

Australia's Matt Giteau stretches for the ball against England's Ugo Monye
England were beaten by Australia at Twickenham last November

England will head to Australia in June for two Tests against the Wallabies.

Martin Johnson's squad will face Australia in Perth on 12 June and in Sydney a week later.

England will also play the Australian Barbarians on 8 and 15 June before travelling to Napier in New Zealand to face the New Zealand Maori on 23 June.

"The tour presents all the players and coaches with a great opportunity to test themselves against some excellent teams," said Johnson.

"All five matches will be very tough and give us the opportunity to look at some players who may not have had the opportunity to play on this tour if it had been restricted to two Test matches.


"The games will be great occasions and to play the New Zealand Maori in their centenary year is a huge honour."

England will travel with a 44-man squad, with members of the Senior Elite Player programme supplemented by England Saxons players.

RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew said: "It will give England squad members an excellent opportunity of experiencing a full tour before they potentially get selected for the [2011] Rugby World Cup.

"The squad will include players that would otherwise have travelled to Denver for the Churchill Cup with the England Saxons in May and June.

"It also gives a number of players the opportunity to step up into the Saxons squad via the Elite Player Pathway and they will benefit from the experience."

It is England's first five-match summer tour since South Africa in 2000.

In their most recent match against the Wallabies, at Twickenham last November, they were beaten 18-9.

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see also
England switch New Zealand Test
01 Apr 10 |  English
England 9-18 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union

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