Australia A national rugby union team
|Union||Australian Rugby Union|
Australia A is a national representative rugby union football team of Australian rugby union. The last match played under the 'Australia A' name was in 2008, but the team was previously the second national side behind the Wallabies. Matches played by 'Australia A' were used as a stepping-stone to Wallaby selection, with the team playing at smaller venues than the Wallabies. Aspiring Wallaby players were given a chance to impress selectors during these games. In the past, the team would also play touring sides, such as the British and Irish Lions, when they visited Australia.
Pacific Nations Cup: 2006–08
Australia was originally invited to take part in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup but decided against sending a team, stating a need to focus on domestic competition. However, Australia hosted two games in the inaugural 2006 tournament. Australia A played two matches against Fiji after the 2006 tournament, and then joined the competition in 2007.
In the 2008 Pacific Nations Cup, Australia A played 5 matches for 4 wins and 1 loss. The team finished second in the tournament won by New Zealand Māori. At the end of the 2008, however, the Australian Rugby Union decided to scrap the Australia A team, citing financial constraints. Australia withdrew from the 2009 tournament.
Australian Barbarians: 2010–11
For the 2010 England tour to Australia, the ARU arranged for the Australian Barbarians Rugby Club to play two matches against the visiting England national team. This side was nominated as the second national team and was, as such, essentially Australia A by another name for the England matches. The Australian Barbarians also played a pre-World Cup friendly against Canada in 2011.
In 2015 the Australian Barbarians club selected a side from National Rugby Championship players not contracted by professional clubs to play two matches against the New Zealand Heartland XV representative team, but this was not the second national side.
Matches played by the Australian Barbarians Club when selected as the second national team:
|8 June 2010||England tour of Australasia||Perth, Australia||Subiaco Oval||England XV||Draw||28–28|
|19 June 2010||England tour of Australasia||Gosford||Central Coast Stadium||England XV||Loss||9–15|
|26 August 2011||Pre–RWC international trial||Gold Coast||Skilled Park||Canada XV||Win||38–14|
- The 2015 tour to New Zealand by the Australian Barbarians Club was selected only from NRC players not contracted to professional Super Rugby teams, and as such it was not the second national side.
- Technically the Australia A matches played on the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Wallabies tours to Europe were not A team matches under World Rugby Regulations (because it is impossible to nominate an A team match on a full Test tour within the definition of "International Tour" in Regulation 1 - see also Regulation 8 and the World Rugby Tours Agreement) and they were midweek matches played by the Wallabies on international tours although branded as "Australia A".
- "'Australia A' to play Fiji in Adelaide and Melbourne". rugby.com.au. 9 June 2006. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Australia A to join Pacific Cup". BBC. 18 October 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2006.
- Swanton, Will (22 December 2008). "Financial crisis forces sacrifice of Australia A". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "England to play Australian Barbarians". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 March 2010. Archived from the original on 29 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Wallabies power Barbarians' victory". 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Australian Barbarians". Australian Rugby. 2015. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.