Ireland confirm summer Tests, in Dublin, against USA and Japan
Now we're sucking diesel.
Just when it looked like the 2020/21 Irish rugby season was petering out, we have some Test match rugby to look forward to, and in Dublin too. Ireland will have a couple of test encounters in July, and a chance to blood new players.
Fresh on the heels of news that the Six Nations (men's, women's and U20 championships) will remain on free-to-air television - via a shared RTE and Virgin Media deal - World Rugby confirmed a slate of Test matches for its leading sides.
The IRFU then came out with more details on the fixtures, with Ireland head coach Andy Farrell in his element. He declared:
"We now have two games at home to focus on which will be great for the group. There have been some strong individual performances in the Rainbow Cup over the past couple of weeks and there are plenty of opportunities for players to put themselves in the frame for selection for the international window in July."
With the planned 2021 summer tour to Fiji postponed fore the foreseeable future [the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions combining for that one], Farrell and all involved in the IRFU will be delighted at the opportunity to get some Test match rugby in the calendar.
First up for Ireland, on July 3, are Japan. The team that beat us at the 2019 World Cup will be in Europe to provide a warm-up against the British & Irish Lions, at Murrayfield, on June 26 before heading over to Dublin.
Next on the agenda are the USA, who themselves will be providing warm-up opposition to the Springboks ahead of the Lions Test Series.
The fixtures, it is noted by the IRFU, are subject to final agreement and further details will be announced in due course
IRELAND'S SUMMER TESTS
Saturday July 3, Aviva Stadium
Saturday July 10, 2021, Aviva Stadium
Also part of the summer slate are three France games against Australia, Down Under, and Fiji taking on New Zealand.
The full list of summer Test matches, released by World Rugby today, is available to view here.