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Ireland will take on both Rugby World Cup finalists next November

Ireland’s Women also have some historic Autumn Tests lined up against the World Cup finalists.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated 14.45

BOTH IRELAND’S MEN and Women will take on the most recent Rugby World Cup finalists in a historic November Test schedule for 2016.

Joe Schmidt’s Six Nations Champions host the back-to-back Webb Ellis winners New Zealand and runners-up Australia at the Aviva Stadium next year, the IRFU confirmed today.

The All Blacks will take on Ireland on Saturday 19 November 2016, almost three years to the day after the heartbreaking late 22 – 24 defeat to the All Blacks in Schmidt’s third game in charge in 2013.

Michael Cheika’s Wallabies will face Ireland a week later on 26 November, hoping to avoid a repeat of the 26 – 23 defeat in Dublin last year.

A third Test in the men’s schedule is still to be confirmed for 12 November, but will be filled by a Tier two nation.

Tom Tierney’s Six Nations Champions begin their historic first home November Test series the same weekend when they meet World Champions England, though the venue, precise date and kick-off time are still to be confirmed.

Ireland Women played their first ever official November Test in England last month, but will hope that a home series against two heavyweights of the sport will build momentum and excitement in the lead up to the hosting of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017.

On the weekend Ireland’s men face up to the All Blacks, Ireland Women will clash with the 2014 WRWC runners-up Canada. again, the date and kick-off time has yet to be confirmed.

Sene Naoupu makes a break Sene Naoupu makes a break during Ireland's first ever autumn international against England. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“These additional fixtures are really important for the development of our squad as we build towards the World Cup in 2017,” says director of women’s rugby Anthony Eddy.

“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.”

Irish Rugby November Tests 2016

12 /13 November: Ireland Women v England Women
12 November: Ireland Men v TBC
19 November: Ireland Men v All Blacks
19 /20 November: Ireland Women v Canada Women
26 November: Ireland Men v Wallabies

Originally published 14.12

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