Reigning Guinness Six Nations champions Wales will play three summer Tests in Cardiff this July after all unions and World Rugby announced a revised international fixture schedule.
Wayne Pivac’s men, who finished top of the 2021 Championship standings, will welcome Canada (July 3) before facing Argentina in back-to-back games (July 10 & 17) at Principality Stadium.
The Tests replace Wales’ previoulsy scheduled summer tour to Argentina which had to be cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty around travel restrictions.
Sinckler and Rees-Zammit shine on return to domestic action
The Pumas will now travel to Cardiff for two Tests after Wales kick off their summer campaign with a home clash against Canada.
“We are looking forward to this summer, the opportunity it presents, and we are delighted to have three Tests confirmed,” said Wales head coach Pivac.
“It is disappointing not to have the opportunity to tour Argentina, especially on the back of our 2020 tour to New Zealand being cancelled, but in the current climate it is completely understandable.
“What is important is we have games and as we have said all along, this summer is a huge opportunity for us. We are delighted and proud to have 10 players selected for the British & Irish Lions, it is reward for all their hard work and we wish them all the best this summer.
“With those players away, we always earmarked this summer as an important development opportunity for us. It is an opportunity to bring players into this environment, look at them closely and expose them to Test match rugby.”
ENGLAND SUMMER TOUR SCHEDULE
The Red Rose will also be in action this summer as Eddie Jones’ side will play two Test matches against USA (July 4) and Canada (July 10) at Twickenham Stadium.
An England A side will also face Scotland A at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Leicester on 27 June, with kick-off times for all matches due to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
And with 11 players on the British & Irish Lions tour this summer, head coach Jones will have the opportunity to select a different squad.
Alun Wyn Jones to lead squad of 37 on Lions tour to South Africa
He said: “The summer series will give us the chance to look at a lot of players and see how they step up, and it’s an important part of our World Cup preparation.
“For younger players, it’s a chance to show what they can do at international level and how they are in the team environment. There aren’t too many opportunities to lead at international level.
“So for the more experienced players it’s a chance to take further leadership roles and grow their game in that area. USA are one of the most ambitious of the emerging nations.
“They have an experienced coach in Gary Gold and have a team full of American verve and physicality, with the aim of moving themselves up the world rankings.
“Canada are a traditional rival for England. They’re a tough, physical side and Kingsley Jones is an astute coach so we’re expecting two good, competitive Test matches for our supporters.”
IRELAND TO FACE THE BRAVE BLOSSOMS
Elsewhere, Andy Farrell’s Ireland will gear up for the 2022 Guinness Six Nations with two Test matches in July against Japan and the USA at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland last faced Japan at the Rugby World Cup in 2019 where Jamie Joseph’s side prevailed 19-12, with the two sides scheduled to lock horns against on July 3.
The following weekend will then see Ireland host the USA in Dublin, with the men in green looking for a repeat of their last meeting at the Aviva Stadium – a 57-14 win in November 2018.
Farrell said: “We now have two games at home to focus on which will be great for the group.
“There have been some strong individual performances in the Rainbow Cup over the past couple of weeks and there are plenty of opportunities for players to put themselves in the frame for selection for the international window in July.”
Meanwhile, 2021 Guinness Six Nations runners-up France had previously already announced that they will take on Australia in three Tests in a tour Down Under this summer.
Les Bleus will play matches in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane against the Wallabies, their first meeting for five years and the first in Australia since 2014.
The first Test will take place at the SCG on July 7, the next six days later at AAMI Park on July 13 and the final Test will be in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on July 17.
And Scotland will also be in action this summer as they will head to Europe to face Romania on July 10 and Georgia on July 17 in Test matches after Scotland A’s match with England A.