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Bears to host Australia XV in November

The Bristol Bears will host an Australia XV side on November 8 at Ashton Gate.

The Bears, who have the services of four Fijians in the form of Ratu Siva Naulago, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Virimi Vakatawa and recent acquisition Viliame Mata are currently sitting seventh on the Premiership ladder.

Virimi Vakatawa3

The fixture will commemorate 115 years after the first touring Australian team played a combined Bristol and Clifton team.

“After such an incredible occasion against South Africa a few years ago, the opportunity to welcome another international side of the quality of Australia to Bristol is hugely exciting,” Bristol Director of Rugby Pat Lam said in a statement.

Kalaveti Ravouvou

“This is a massive opportunity for our players to test themselves against an international standard team, for our staff to put on another unforgettable event and for our incredible supporters to welcome and host Australian supporters from all over the world to Bristol.”

“We look forward to hosting the Australian side at Ashton Gate on Friday, November 8th.”

The Australian side will likely be made up of players from a touring squad outside of the Wallabies squad, with the first game of the Spring Tour taking place on November 10 against England.

“With the British & Irish Lions arriving next year, the November match-up against Bristol Bears is a great opportunity for the Australia XV players to demonstrate what they’re capable of against quality opposition, and for the Wallabies to build depth for the Lions series,” Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt said.

It continues Bristol’s push of testing itself against touring Super Rugby and international teams, with Bears recording a historic 26-18 victory over South Africa XV in 2022.

Bristol hosted a Barbarians side dominated by Australian players in 2023 as part of their European tour.

On that day, the Barbarians took out the 52-26 with Harry Wilson, Ryan Lonergan and Tom Wright amongst the try-scorers.

Viliame Mata3

In January, the Bears will welcome the Queensland Reds to Bristol on their first European tour in 35 years.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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