Scotland will play three Tests against Southern Hemisphere teams this November, it was confirmed today by the big chiefs at Murrayfield.
The EMC Tests will see Scotland face New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga in (depending on the summer tour) a series of matches that could make or break Robinson’s reign at Murrayfield. More dismal results in an arena televised by the BBC (as opposed to 3am in Samoa when only sad cases like us will be paying attention) will only increase the public pressure.
Conversely, good results against Australia and South Africa have been counted in Robinson’s Plus column in recent years when the Six Nations has shown little cheer. I would say that the summer tour and the autumn will be Robinson’s chance to show what his aims are with his new (own) coaching set-up. If they aren’t clear or successful, it could be time to make way…
The world’s number one ranked team, Rugby World Cup holders, conquerors of the universe, wearers of only one strip and lovers of silly dances (the All Blacks), will visit Murrayfield on Sunday 11 November with a 2.30pm kick-off.
The Springboks, ranked third in the world, who Scotland beat on their last tour in 2010, will take to the Murrayfield turf six days later (Saturday 17 November, kick-off 2.30pm)
The series will conclude against Tonga – the hard-hitting Pacific islanders who stunned France at last year’s Rugby World Cup – on Saturday 24 November with a 3pm kick-off. The venue for this one is still to be confirmed, though the match is likely to be played away from Murrayfield, so Pittodrie may once again be a likely candidate.
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “We are delighted to announce our fixtures for the EMC Tests and firmly believe that these games will excite the interest of our fans.
“We’re also very pleased that we have secured a two-year broadcast deal with the BBC which will ensure ongoing maximum exposure across their extensive broadcast platforms and that’s good news for Scottish Rugby and our partners.”
Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport, said: “We’re delighted to be broadcasting Scottish Rugby’s autumn test matches though to 2013. This gives viewers further opportunities to enjoy live top flight rugby union on the BBC.”
Details of ticket prices will be announced shortly.