All Blacks and Argentina back in town to face Ireland next November

Ireland will get a chance to measure themselves against the world’s best team less than a year out from the World Cup.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Sean Farrell reports from the Aviva Stadium

IRELAND WILL RENEW their rivalries with New Zealand and Argentina when next year’s November internationals come around.

Currently Ireland are looking at another three-Test series for the international window less than a year out from the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

An, as yet unconfirmed, Tier 2 nation will complete the line-up alongside the Pumas and All Blacks, who will fill the IRFU with confidence of selling out another November series after full houses for South Africa, Fiji and the weekend win over Argentina.

Saturday marked the first Albiceleste visit to Dublin since the 2012 November Tests, but Daniel Hourcade’s side are clearly a quality yardstick for Ireland and will likely be a more potent threat as they build closer to World Cup year.

The All Blacks, of course, made up two of Ireland’s four November internationals last year, including the historic Test in Chicago’s Soldier Field when Ireland claimed their first ever win over the three-time World Champions.

At present, there is no bonus fourth match on Ireland’s schedule. And, while Schmidt expects an offer to come, the circumstances have to be right for Ireland to take players away from their provinces for an extra week.

“We are very conscious of looking after the provinces,” Schmidt said post-match in the Aviva on Saturday.

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“Wales playing next week, the week before Europe, I think it makes it very tough for their regional teams leading into Europe. It is a little bit of a compromise I suppose.

“We haven’t had a formal request from anyone yet (for a fourth Test), but if there is one as we got for the match in Chicago, then we’d consider it if it comes up and we’d try and stay in touch with the provincial coaches and see if we can make it work.”

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Sean Farrell

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