Tommy Bowe takes a breather beneath a ruck ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Early Risers

Rise and shine: Kick-off times confirmed for Ireland tour to New Zealand

No graveyard shifts for Irish fans this June as Brian O’Driscoll and company do battle with the world champion All Blacks.

IRISH RUGBY FANS will be spared the discomfort of a 4am alarm squawk this June after the New Zealand Rugby Union confirmed evening kick-offs for their upcoming matches with Declan Kidney’s men.

A spokesperson from the NZRU has revealed to The Score that the matches in Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton will each begin at 7.35pm local time.

As New Zealand will be 11 hours ahead of Ireland, supporters in the Emerald Isle can tune in to the action at 8.35am or earlier; depending on how much George Hook and Brent Pope one likes in the morning.

Ireland will play the Barbarians in England on May 29 before flying out towards Auckland two days later.

The first match against the All Blacks will be at Eden Park, setting for Ireland’s World Cup win over Australia, on June 9.

The second clash will be at Christchurch Stadium, temporary home to Richie McCaw’s Canterbury Crusaders, on June 16.

The tie will be the first Test Match to be held in Christchurch since a powerful, 6.3 magnitude earthquake befell the city on February 2011.

The tour rounds out with an encounter at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on June 23.

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