Rugby Union: Wallabies hoping for England Test

Australia are trying to add England to the fixture list for their European tour later this year and revive the tradition of playing a Grand Slam of tests against all four home nations.

Scotland, Ireland and Italy are already scheduled to host Tests against the Wallabies during their eight-week tour which starts on 15 October.

John O'Neill, chief executive of the Australian Rugby Union, said Wales had since suggested adding a one-off Test in Cardiff. "Now that we have three of the four Grand Slam countries, why wouldn't you maximise the value of the tour?" O'Neill said. "It makes sense, and I'm going to pursue it this week."

The Rugby Football Union said it would look at the possibility of a game if a formal application is received. "We have heard nothing as yet," a spokesman said. "The fixture schedule still stands. The Wales v Australia game is still to be confirmed and we will wait until we hear something." Australia last played all the home nations on tour in 1984, when they won all four Tests.

If the tour changes are confirmed at an ARU board meeting tomorrow, Australia will play 12 Tests during 1996. The proposed move has already brought an angry response from the veteran winger David Campese, who fears the players' workload is becoming too heavy.

Before starting the Test programme in June, the Australian players represented their states in the Super 12 southern hemisphere provincial competition.

"How many Tests do they want us to play?" asked Campese, who is to make his 100th international appearance on tour. "I think it's ridiculous. Don't they think we've had a hard enough season as it is? There's a chance they're going to overdo it."

The centre Tim Horan welcomed the prospect of playing all four home nations, but shared Campese's concern about the physical effects. "You have to be aware of the toll it would take on the players," Horan said.

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