Joe Schmidt Confirms All Blacks Test For Ireland With A Potential Second On The Table

Can they do it again?

Head coach Joe Schmidt has all but confirmed that Ireland will take on both the All Blacks and Argentina again during next year’s November International Series, with a third game with a Tier 2 nation also scheduled.

Schmidt also backed up reports that an added fourth Test is on the table. While he didn’t go into any detail, this is believed to be an offer from New Zealand for an extra match at a neutral venue, potentially in the Netherlands.

Ireland famously defeated the All Blacks in Chicago last year, and if another match is to be added it will be scheduled before the traditional three-week window once again, as Schmidt is conscious of the players going straight back into Europe with their provinces.

“You never know the Tier 2 (team) until later but I think it is Argentina and New Zealand,” Schmidt said.

“At this stage (it is just three games). Again, we’ll always get asked for a fourth game.

“We are very conscious of looking after the provinces as well. Wales playing next week (against South Africa) – 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 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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