ARU reveal England fixture talks

The Australian Rugby Union have begun preliminary talks with the Rugby Football Union in a bid to schedule a fixture with England in November 2009. [more]

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The Australian Rugby Union have begun preliminary talks with the Rugby Football Union in a bid to schedule a fixture with England in November 2009.

Australia are already scheduled to play Scotland, Ireland and Wales next year and a fixture against England would complete the Wallabies’ first Grand Slam tour since 1984.

ARU boss John O’Neill said negotiations with the Rugby Football Union are progressing well, but there are still plenty of minor details that need to be organised.

"They (England) have got a limited (international) window because of the agreement with their clubs but November 7 is an available date," O’Neill said.

"But we’re not sure if that’s in or outside of their window.

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"We’re getting on famously with England at the moment so I’m sure we can strike a deal if they’re interested."

O’Neill wants the International Rugby Board to show strong leadership and implement their controversial Experimental Law Variations at international level as soon as possible.

The Wallabies are slated to play Italy, England, France and Wales over a gruelling four-week stretch in November this year, with a Wednesday blockbuster against the Barbarians at Wembley also scheduled for December 3.

O’Neill wants the measures to be implemented prior to the commencement of the Wallabies spring tour.

"Certainly our preference – our very strong preference – is that every game from (September 1) be played under the ELV’s," O’Neill said.

"I expressed the opinion on a radio interview yesterday (Sunday) when I was questioned ‘when are the northern hemisphere ever going to get on board?’"

"And I said ‘if the International Rugby Board is truly the governing body of world rugby they (should) just mandate that (September 1) is the date from which every competition should use the experimental laws’."

But O’Neill knows the final verdict could go either way.

"I got a response this morning from the IRB saying it depended on how their meeting with the 6 Nations went at the end of March," he said.

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