Ireland will take on the reigning World champions New Zealand twice in November 2016, it was confirmed today. First up is an historic clash in Soldier Field, Chicago, and the sides meet again a few weeks later in the GUINNESS Series at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland will play New Zealand on Saturday, November 5, 2016 in a one-off Test match at the 61,500-seater stadium which is home to NFL outfit, the Chicago Bears.
The match is part of ‘The Rugby Weekend’ which will also see the USA Eagles take on the New Zealand Maori on Friday, November 4 at Toyota Park.
Tickets for ‘The Rugby Weekend’ will go on sale on Friday, April 1, but it is recommended that fans visit www.TheRugbyWeekend.com to sign up for early ticket alerts.
Irish Rugby Football Union CEO Philip Browne commented: “There is a huge population in the USA who are proud of their Irish heritage as well as large numbers of Irish who have migrated more recently to live and work in the USA.
“We know that many of these people are Irish rugby fans and we look forward to seeing them pack out the stadium, alongside some of our passionate travelling fans as we take on the World champions, New Zealand.
“Ireland rugby fans on both sides of the Atlantic will have the opportunity to see their team take on some of the very best sides in World rugby in November 2016.”
IRFU Director of Commercial and Marketing, Padraig Power, said: “We are delighted to be involved in ‘The Rugby Weekend’ and look forward to playing the world champions in the great city of Chicago. Irish Americans will relish seeing the Ireland rugby team contribute further to the development of the game of rugby in the US complimenting the wonderful growth of the game to date.”
USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville believes that hosting high-profile countries like Ireland and New Zealand for an international Test match will build further momentum for the popularity of the sport across the United States.
“We are looking forward to another fabulous weekend for rugby in the United States with our return to Chicago in November,” he said.
“The city and its fans have shown the world how passionate they are about the sport, and we think this weekend will again take the game’s popularity to another level.”
Upon returning to Ireland, Joe Schmidt’s squad will immediately gear up for the 2016 GUINNESS Series which features another Test against the World champions, a Test against the Rugby World Cup runners-up Australia, while the Series opens with a re-match against the Canadian side who Ireland faced at RWC 2015. Ticket information for the 2016 GUINNESS Series will be available on IrishRugby.ie in the coming weeks.
IRELAND TEST FIXTURES – NOVEMBER 2016:
THE RUGBY WEEKEND –
IRELAND v New Zealand
Soldier Field, Chicago
Saturday, November 5, kick-off 3pm local time/8pm Irish time
2016 GUINNESS SERIES –
IRELAND v Canada
Saturday, November 12, kick-off 7.15pm
IRELAND v New Zealand
Saturday, November 19, kick-off 5.30pm
IRELAND v Australia
Saturday, November 26, kick-off 5.30pm