The QBE Internationals will deliver an exciting, international competition between the northern and southern hemispheres and see the World Cup winning All Blacks play on English soil for the first time since lifting the Webb Ellis Cup at Eden Park in October.
Reflecting on the fixture announcement, representatives from all five competing unions have expressed their excitement ahead of next year’s QBE Internationals.
Nick Easter, England and Harlequins Number 8, a QBE ambassador: “The calibre of opposition at the 2012 QBE Internationals sets up some huge games against very tough sides. You’ve got to beat the best if you want to be the best and that is what England aspires to be. These tests are a massive challenge especially with New Zealand winning the World Cup. The southern hemisphere has set the benchmark over the years and we know that they hold dominance so it is always good to pit yourself against them. The games always have plenty of support and it is fantastic to see fans really enjoy themselves at Twickenham. Players and supporters love the northern vs. southern hemisphere rivalry so there is a lot to look forward to.”
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has today announced the QBE Internationals 2012 fixtures:
Saturday 10 November 2012, KO 2.30pm
England vs. Fiji
Saturday 17 November 2012, KO 2.30pm
England vs. Australia
Saturday 24 November 2012, KO 2.30pm
England vs. South Africa
Saturday 1 December 2012, KO 2.30pm
England vs. New Zealand
Stephen Donald, 2011 World Cup winning New Zealand and Bath Rugby fly half: “The Rugby World Cup showcased the depth of talent across all rugby nations and the QBE Internationals give yet another chance for teams from around the globe to play at the highest level against quality opposition. It is a great opportunity for all rugby fans in my new home, the UK, to see England pitted against some of the best teams in the southern hemisphere. That north vs. south rivalry is unique and always gives the big battles in every area of the park – it is also one that I will now get to see through different eyes playing my domestic rugby with Bath this season. Twickenham is a stadium steeped in history and playing England in their own backyard is a huge fixture to look forward to for any team and hopefully all the Kiwis in London will get behind the All Blacks!”
James Horwill, Qantas Wallabies Captain: “There are few bigger challenges in international rugby than playing against England at Twickenham. It’s a great stadium which provides an amazing atmosphere, with a sea of white in the stands. Obviously the history between Australia and England means there is always an edge to our internationals, and I’m sure that November’s game will be no different. My only previous experience of playing against England at the stadium was in 2009 when we were lucky enough to get away with the game, but England were all over us in 2010 playing a brand of rugby that was hard to contain. Our guys still talk about that experience, and how well England played, and so will be motivated when we return to Twickenham next year.”
John Smit, Former Captain of South Africa and Saracens’ Hooker: “South Africa have enjoyed some hugely competitive clashes with England over the years. Twickenham is one of the most iconic stadiums in world rugby and for the southern hemisphere teams it is an honour to represent your country and play in this famous ground. I have some great memories of facing England and I will be watching with interest next year alongside all those eager to see some very physical and entertaining rugby.”
Netani Talei, Fiji’s 2011 World Cup Captain and Edinburgh Rugby No 8: “It’s fantastic for Fiji to be playing at Twickenham again. As a nation we’re already building towards the 2015 World Cup so the opportunity against England is very important.”
For more on the QBE Internationals visit www.rfu.com/QBEInternationals
Tickets for the QBE International, England vs. Fiji, go on sale in February 2012.