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Ireland to play All Blacks in USA

By Jonathan Bradley

Ireland will head Stateside in 2016 to take on New Zealand in a historic Autumn International.

Soldier Field - home of the NFL's Chicago Bears - will be the venue for the November 5 Test match having already hosted the USA against both the All Blacks and Australia in the past 12 months.

With New Zealand having won all 28 past meetings, it will be the first clash between the two since Ireland endured a heart-breaking 24-22 loss back in 2013.

The trans-Atlantic tussle will not be Schmidt's only opportunity to mastermind a first Irish win over the land of his birth with the world champions also set to visit Dublin two weeks later.

Sandwiched in between will be an as yet unknown Tier Two nation at the Aviva while Australia will round off a busy month by returning to Dublin two years after Michael Cheika's side suffered a 26-23 defeat.

With a three-match June tour to South Africa already inked into the diary for the summer, Ireland will be out to put their disappointing World Cup behind them during six Tests against the world's best sides in 2016. Schmidt is thought to be keen to play against the southern hemisphere's 'Big Three' as regularly as possible.

Ireland's 2016 Autumn Series, Saturday November 5: Ireland v New Zealand, (Soldier Field, Chicago), Saturday November 12: Ireland v Tier 2 nation (Aviva Stadium, Dublin), Saturday November 19: Ireland v New Zealand (Aviva Stadium, Dublin), Saturday November 26: Ireland v Australia (Aviva Stadium, Dublin).

Ireland Women are back in action for the first time since regaining the Six Nations title, as they take on England at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

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