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Rangers head for Sydney Festival of Sport

Rangers have confirmed they will play in a pre-season tournament in Australia next month. The SPL champions will prepare for the defence of their title by flying to Sydney on July 20 to take part in the inaugural Sydney Festival of Sport.

Rangers have games against Sydney FC, Blackburn and AEK Athens lined up on July 25, 28 and 31 at the Sydney Football Stadium although fixtures have still to be agreed.

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain told the club's official website: "We are delighted to be heading to Australia as SPL title holders and look forward to showcasing the club down under this summer.

"The club has a loyal fanbase in Australia who will enjoy watching the team in action and we're looking forward to returning after 26 years.

"We enjoyed a successful tour of Australia in 1984 and this tournament will be good preparation for the 2010/11 campaign.

"We had explored the possibility of a tour of America, however, after considering many factors it was decided not to pursue this further.

"I am sure this will be a disappointment to our fans across the Atlantic and while we are sorry the team is no longer travelling in July, Alastair Johnston, Walter Smith and I look forward to attending the NARSA (North American Rangers Supporters Association) convention in Las Vegas this weekend."

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