Wallabies' French opener shifted to Brisbane

Rugby Australia [RA] have confirmed the opening Wallabies' Test against France will be played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Wednesday Jul. 7.

RA were left scrambling after the NSW Government on Saturday announced a snap two-week lockdown for the Greater Sydney region in reaction to the growing spread of COVID-19 cases across the city.

The shift is a huge blow for RA who were banking on a crowd in excess of 30,000 people.

In a statement RA also confirmed the SCG will host South Africa in an afternoon clash on Sunday 12 September during the Rugby Championship.

With the opening France Test rerouted, Suncorp Stadium will now host the first and third games of the three-Test series.

RA have also made the decision to postpone the Wallaroos' series against Samoa due to border restrictions. In a statement they said they will continue to look for alternate date later this year to complete the two Test Series.

"It's never an easy decision to move a fixture. One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that we have to be able to pivot quickly. Following the announcement yesterday, we were faced with yet another challenge and we knew we had to respond swiftly," RA CEO Andy Marinos said.

France flew into Sydney on Tuesday evening where they are subject to ongoing hotel quarantine restrictions; Fabien Galthie's squad is however permitted daily training sessions.

Moving the opening Test to Brisbane would force the French into another flight, likely less than 24 hours out from kick-off, adding another hurdle to a touring party that was rumoured to have concerns about the trip before it left France.

The Wallabies, meanwhile, have been enjoying the freedom of their Gold Coast training base, with coach Dave Rennie subjecting his 38-man squad to near 12-hour training days.