Ireland to play Maori All Blacks twice on summer tour

Ireland have played the Maori All Blacks on two previous occasions, losing both

Ireland will play two midweek fixtures against the Maori All Blacks in addition to a three Test series against New Zealand in what will now be a five-match summer tour.

The first game against the Maori All Blacks kicks off the summer tour at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton on Wednesday June 29th (8.05am, Irish time). Andy Farrell’s Ireland side will then face Ian Foster’s All Blacks in the first and second Tests before they oppose the Maori All Blacks for a second time at the Sky Stadium in Wellington on Tuesday July 12th (8.05am, Irish time).

Ireland have played the Maori All Blacks on two previous occasions, losing both games. In 1888 the New Zealand Natives beat Ireland 13-4 at Lansdowne Road while the Maori All Blacks secured victory in 2010 at the Rotorua International Stadium winning 31-28.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell said: "The Maori All Blacks will provide a stern test of our squad strength and depth. They are effectively a Test match side that have a proud tradition and impressive record of results.

“This tour is a huge opportunity for the group to develop and test itself against the best in their own backyard. Playing five games against such quality opposition will be of huge benefit to the group as we tour for the first time since 2018.”

It is likely that Ireland will travel with an extended squad of 40-42 players given the five-game schedule. All the matches will be televised live on Sky Sports.

Maori All Blacks head coach Clayton McMillan said: “We look forward to welcoming Ireland, their players, management, and fans to Aotearoa, sharing our respective cultures, and celebrating our rich histories through rugby.

“Our rivalry goes back more than 100 years and that will only add to the occasion. To play the world’s fourth ranked team in a two-match series is an exciting prospect and we expect both games to be huge challenges.

“Playing in Aotearoa is always special, and we know we have huge support in both Te Whanganui a Tara and Kirikiriroa. We’re looking forward to spending time in those communities, connecting with the region’s local Iwi, Maori, Maori All Blacks fans and putting out a performance our whanau and fans can be proud of.”

Summer tour fixtures (All times Irish)

Wednesday, June 29th: Maori All Blacks v Ireland, FMG Stadium, Hamilton (8.05am)

Saturday, July 2nd: New Zealand v Ireland, Eden Park, Auckland (8.05am)

Saturday, July 9th: New Zealand v Ireland, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin (8.05am)

Tuesday, July 12th: Maori All Blacks v Ireland, Sky Stadium, Wellington (8.05am)

Saturday, July 16th: New Zealand v Ireland, Sky Stadium, Wellington (8.05am)

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