THE Wallabies are heading to Newcastle - and they will be joined by the All Blacks, South Africa and Argentina.
In arguably the biggest sporting event to be staged in the Hunter, a Rugby Championship double-header will be played at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday, November 28.
The All Blacks will take on the Springboks in the first game, which will be followed by the Wallabies versus Argentina.
Former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns will officially launch the event at a press conference in Newcastle on Thursday.
It will be just the second time that Test rugby has been played in Newcastle and the first visit by the famed All Blacks.
The six-week tournament, which is normally played over three months with each of the competing nations hosting Tests, has been rescheduled due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Each round will be played as a double-header with the opener to be held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 7.
Back-to-back rounds will be played in Sydney at Bankwest Stadium (November 14) and ANZ Stadium (November 21), with Newcastle to host round four.
The tournament returns to Sydney for the final two rounds at Bankwest Stadium (December 5) and ANZ Stadium (December 12).
The series is the first time that tier one rugby nations will feature in a Test match on the same bill.
The Wallabies, who are in camp at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley until Friday before travelling to New Zealand for the opening two Bledisloe Cup Tests, were to play Argentina at McDonald Jones Stadium on September 5.
The Rugby Championships is the first series under new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and Hunter duo Harry Johnson-Holmes (prop) and Nic White are part of a 44-man squad.
Johnson-Holmes' sole Test to date was in South African and the 23-year-old prop said last week playing for the Wallabies in his home town would be a "magical moment".
White, who was born in Scone and grew up in Maitland, played the last of his 31 Tests in the 40-16 loss to England in the quarter-final of the World Cup in Japan a year ago.
South Africa are the current world champions, but the All Blacks remain the most watched and admired team in world rugby.
It has been eight years since the Wallabies played their last and only Test in the Hunter. A crowd of 20,088 braved driving rain and gale-force winds at McDonald Jones Stadium and were left with an empty feeling after Scotland five-eighth Greig Laidlaw landed a last-minute penalty goal to secure the visitors a 9-6 win.
From October 1, major sporting events at selected Sydney stadiums can increase crowds from 25 to 50 per cent capacity (up to a maximum of 40,000 spectators). McDonald Jones Stadium is hoping for a similar concession.
Tickets go on sale from October 8 at 11am.
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