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Tough ties a true test of Irish rugby

THIS year, not only does autumn bring its customary crisp freshness in the evenings, it also brings a fresh start for rugby.

The Autumn International Test-match offers the most truthful gauge of where Irish rugby ranks in the world, not merely of where it ranks in Europe.

It is for this reason that I continue to suggest that we should find the will to play the "big three" southern hemisphere nations on a more regular basis, to aid our desired improvement.

Playing Australia and world champions New Zealand this month represents a step-up, and Irish rugby must take this opportunity to show what we can do.

JOHN REID

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