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Wallabies to use Sunshine Coast for Test preparation

RUGBY  fans, get your autograph books ready. The Wallabies will go into camp on the Sunshine Coast in the lead-up to the Brisbane Test against the British and Irish Lions.

The Daily can reveal the side be based on the Coast for the week before the June 22 clash at Suncorp Stadium.

Wallabies assistant coach Tony McGahan will make the announcement today at the University of the Sunshine Coast alongside council and Sunshine Coast Rugby Union officials.

Coach Robbie Deans visited the Coast last year to inspect facilities, including Stockland Sunshine Coast Stadium.

The British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, a once in 12-year event, is one of the highlights of this year's sporting calendar and interest in the Australian national side will be at a peak in the lead-up.

The Lions will also spend time on the Coast during their trip down under, basing themselves at Noosa in between the Melbourne and Sydney Tests.

Over the past few years, the Coast has become the preferred destination for several elite teams going into camp.

The Queensland Maroons have made a home at the Palmer Coolum Resort for the past few years and the Queensland Bulls, Tasmanian Tigers, New South Wales Blues and Victorian Bushrangers have been regular visitors to the Maroochydore Cricket Club during the pre-season.

As well, AFL clubs Brisbane, Carlton, Hawthorn and Gold Coast have all had training camps at Mooloolaba.

The Coast is also a popular destination for the Queensland Reds, who in the past year have played trial and exhibition matches at Stockland Sunshine Coast Stadium against the Hurricanes and the Chiefs.