IRFU confirm New Zealand and Australia Tests in 2016

Chicago fixture against the All Blacks unlikely to be confirmed until early next year

New Zealand will return to Dublin on November 19th next year as part of Ireland’s 2016 Guinness series. Photograph: Getty

New Zealand will return to Dublin on November 19th next year as part of Ireland’s 2016 Guinness series. Photograph: Getty

 

The IRFU have confirmed their Guinness Series for November 2016, which will include games at the Aviva Stadium against the World Champions New Zealand as well as the beaten finalists Australia.

As outlined in the Irish Times last month, Ireland will host a Tier 2 nation on Saturday November 12th, to be followed by the All Blacks on Saturday November 19th before the series is completed by a game against the Wallabies on Saturday, November 26th.

It will be New Zealand’s first visit to Dublin since the countries’ most recent test in November 2013, when Ireland led from the fifth minute until beyond the 80 minute mark, even going 19-0 ahead in the first quarter. But the All Blacks won 24-22 thanks to a try in over time by Ryan Crotty and a twice taken conversion by Aaron Cruden.

Ireland are now set to have two attempts to end their 28-match winless record against New Zealand - dating back to 1905 - next year given the proposed meeting in Chicago’s Soldier Field Stadium on Saturday November 5th.

As that is a joint venture between a marketing company, and the Unions of New Zealand, Ireland and the USA, the likelihood is that the Chicago fixture will not be officially confirmed until the New Year.

The same marketing company organised the first international rugby union test match at Soldier Field, which is home to the Chicago Bears American football team, when the All Blacks beat the United States 74-6 in November 2014.

Second Captains

The match was a 61,500 sell-out, and although only 23,112 attended Australia’s 47-10 win over the USA Eagles in a World Cup warm-up match last September, an Ireland-New Zealand game would fill Soldier Field to capacity.

As well as the Six Nations, the three November games against New Zealand and Australia will supplement the three-Test tour to South Africa next June in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Six clashes with teams from the Rugby Championship in one calendar year is unprecedented and emulates the six games Argentina, Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final conquerors, will have against the same opponents in 2016.

Irish Rugby Football Union CEO, Philip Browne, commented: “We again have a very attractive Guinness Series to look forward to in 2016. New Zealand return to Ireland for the first time since that incredible game in 2013 and Australia have shown that they are one of the most exciting and effective teams in world rugby after winning the Rugby Championship and finishing runner-up at the Rugby World Cup in 2015.”

2016 Guinness Series Fixtures

IRELAND vs Tier 2 Nation

Saturday 12th November KO TBC

IRELAND vs New Zealand

Saturday 19th November KO TBC

IRELAND vs Australia

Saturday 26th November KO TBC

ends.

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