Australia now know their Test schedule immediately after the Lions come calling but all thoughts of the All Blacks, Springboks and Pumas will be on the back foot until Britain and Ireland’s elite head for home.
The Wallabies take on the Lions in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on June 22, 29 and July 6 respectively in their first scheduled internationals of 2013.
They have now been handed the fixture list for the Rugby Championship that follows after a first Lions series in Oz for 12 years, with the Kiwis first up in back-to-back clashes in August.
The Wallabies host the reigning World Champions in Sydney on August 17, before travelling to New Zealand for the return fixture a week later.
That second match across the Tasman won’t take place at Australia’s bogey ground of Eden Park in Auckland – where they haven’t won for 26 years – though, with the fixture due to be played at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium instead.
In a similar schedule to last year’s tournament in which the Wallabies won three and lost three of their six games, home ties with South Africa and then Argentina follow in Brisbane and Perth on September 7 and 14.
The Wallabies then take to the road for rounds 5 and 6, with Cape Town the setting for their clash with the Boks and Roasrio again the venue for their game against the Pumas.
A third Bledisloe Cup encounter with New Zealand will follow after the tournament is over, with Dunedin hosting that particular fixture.
Australia will hope to end an 11-year Bledisloe drought but that challenge will be even tougher than last term given the fact that two of the three games take place on New Zealand soil this time around.
Robbie Deans’ troops drew their most recent meeting with the All Blacks in October but were beaten in both Rugby Championship matches and failed to score a single point in the second of those defeats.
Australia’s Rugby Championship fixtures
Saturday, August 17: v New Zealand, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, August 24: v New Zealand, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, September 7: v South Africa, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday, September 14: v Argentina, Patersons Stadium, Perth
Saturday, September 28: v South Africa, Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday, October 5: v Argentina, Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario