THE IRFU HAS confirmed details of Ireland’s November Tests against South Africa, Georgia and Australia.
Joe Schmidt’s squad, who claimed the 2014 Six Nations title last weekend, will open the series on the 8th of November against the Springboks, who are currently ranked as the second best team in the world by the IRB.
The Heyneke Mayer-coached South Africans finished as runners-up to New Zealand in 2013’s Rugby Championship. Their clash against the Kiwis in Johannesburg, which ended with a 38-27 defeat for the hosts, was one of the best games of last year.
The ‘Boks pure physical power will make them a demanding opponent, while the skill of the likes of the mesmeric Willie le Roux have added another flourish to their game plan in recent times.
Eight days later, Ireland host Georgia, whose win over Romania last weekend saw them qualify for Pool C of the 2015 World Cup alongside New Zealand. Coached by Kiwi native Milton Haig, the Georgians are currently ranked 16th in the world.
Ireland’s schedule ends with the visit of Australia to the Aviva Stadium on the 22nd of November. The Wallabies won just two games in last year’s Rugby Championship, but their form improved with wins over Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the autumn.
Schmidt will be particularly keen for his side to claim victory in the final fixture, given that the defeat to Australia last November was the poorest performance of his reign so far. Ewen McKenzie’s men are rated as the third best team in the world.
Ireland’s November Test series 2014:
Saturday 8th November, 2014
Ireland v South Africa
Aviva Stadium, K.O. 17:30
Sunday 16th November, 2014
Ireland v Georgia
Aviva Stadium, K.O. 14:30
Saturday 22nd November, 2014
Ireland v Australia
Aviva Stadium, K.O. 16:30