Ireland to face World champions and runners-up in Dublin

Ireland's Jared Payne
Ireland's Jared Payne

Ireland have an attractive 2016 November Guinness Test series lined up, WRITES RICHARD MULLIGAN.

The reigning World champions, New Zeland, will prove the big draw in the middle game of the three international Test matches.

The last time the mighty All Blacks came to Dublin, Ireland came within seconds of registering their first ever win over the South Hemisphere side.

The game will be played on Saturday November 19.

After facing New Zealand the Test series will end with a game against World Cup runners-up, Australia. That game will be played on November 26.

The 2016 Guinness Series kicks off on Saturday, November 12, with a Test against a Tier 2 nation yet to be confirmed.

Irish Rugby Football Union CEO, Philip Browne, said: “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.”

Meanwhile, Ireland’s women will take on England and Canada in November 2016 in what will be their first ever home International Autumn series.

Ireland, who played their first Autumn International test this November away to England, will host the return fixture in Dublin on the weekend of the 12 or 13 November before taking on Canada the following weekend.

Director of Women’s Rugby, Anthony Eddy, said: “These additional fixtures are really important for the development of our squad.”

as we build towards the World Cup in 2017. To continue to improve as a team, we need to test ourselves as often as possible against strong opposition, and with England and Canada being the finalists in the 2014 World Cup they will certainly give us the opportunity to do that.”