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Wales rugby team's summer fixtures announced as Rob Howley to return to Principality Stadium

Wales will play Canada and Argentina in Cardiff this summer, it has been confirmed

Wales will face Canada and Argentina in Cardiff this summer.

World Rugby have published a confirmed list of summer fixtures, revealing that Wayne Pivac's Six Nations winners will host Canada on July 3 before welcoming Argentina to the Welsh capital for back-to-back fixtures on July 10 and July 17.

The original plan had been for Wales to head to south America for matches against both Argentina and Uruguay.

However, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic ruled out that plan - with WRU chief executive Steve Phillips confirming last month that a series of home Tests would be the likely scenario.

That has proved to be the case, with the three matches a chance for the Welsh stars who didn't make Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions squad to impress.

“We are looking forward to this summer, the opportunity it presents, and we are delighted to have three tests confirmed,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“It is disappointing not to have the opportunity to tour Argentina, especially on the back of our 2020 tour to New Zealand being cancelled, but in the current climate it is completely understandable.

“What is important is we have games and as we have said all along, this summer is a huge opportunity for us. We are delighted and proud to have 10 players selected for the British & Irish Lions, it is reward for all their hard work and we wish them all the best this summer.

“With those players away we always earmarked this summer as an important development opportunity for us.

“It is an opportunity to bring players into this environment, look at them closely and expose them to test match rugby. It is also an opportunity for current internationals to step-up into further leadership roles, so on both counts it is an important camp for us looking ahead to RWC2023.”

The match against Canada will also see Wales come face to face with Rob Howley for the first time since he left his post as Wales' assistant coach in 2019 after breaching betting rules.

The former Wales and Lions scrum-half is now Canada's assistant coach, having been appointed last September to assist former Wales captain Kingsley Jones.

“It is a huge credit to World Rugby that a full schedule of summer international rugby has been achieved against the backdrop of the global pandemic," added WRU CEO Phillips.

“Whilst it is obviously disappointing not to tour, we are delighted in Wales to be hosting Canada and to be able to honour the 2017 San Francisco agreement by hosting the Pumas for back-to-back matches, which will be hugely important to our international player development.

“Wayne has been adamant that his squad needs matches this summer and World Rugby have certainly delivered on that front.

“We are, of course, acutely aware of current restrictions and the ongoing and complex global COVID-19 picture. We will continue to monitor the situation in terms of any potential spectator access, but will remain entirely compliant and vigilant of all restrictions.

“In the current circumstances we are simply delighted to be able to play international rugby and any advance on that will be a bonus.”

While the dates for fixtures have been announced, kick-off times have yet to be confirmed.

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