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Ireland to return to Soldier Field in November for clash with Conor O'Shea's Italy

The Six Nations teams will form one part of a triple-header set for the NFL ground.

IRELAND WILL RETURN to Soldier Field in Chicago this November, almost exactly two years on from their historic win over New Zealand at the venue.

The All Blacks perform the Haka at Soldier Field Source: Photosport/Vaughn Ridley/INPHO

After an incredibly positive outcome in 2016, Joe Schmidt’s men will again begin their November Test schedule in Illinois, though the opposition will be provided by Italy as part of a three-pronged fixture list in the NFL stadium on 3 November.

The trans-Atlantic trip again comes in conjunction with the events group TLA, but All Black plans to tour in Japan before their usual European tour ensured they were out of the running for a Soldier Field rematch.

In place of the senior male New Zealand side, the US Eagles and women’s side will both face Kiwi opposition with the world champion Black Ferns and a touring NZ Maori side filling up the triple-header in the home of the Chicago Bears.

“Irish Rugby is delighted to be returning to Chicago,” says IRFU director of commercial and marketing Padraig Power.

A general view of the lineout at Soldier Field Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

“In 2016 the Ireland team experienced tremendous support and made history in a week that also witnessed the Cubs celebrating their own piece of history on the streets of Chicago.  We are looking forward to an exciting match against Italy who are a well-coached and dangerous team.”

After facing Conor O’Shea’s Azzurri, Ireland will return home to play New Zealand and Argentina in the Aviva Stadium, with a fourth Test against a Tier two nation still to be confirmed.

Tickets go on general sale at TheRugbyWeekend.com on 21 May.

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Sean Farrell

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