The dates for Ireland’s three test series with World Cup winners New Zealand have been announced.
Declan Kidney’s side will open the series in Auckland on the 9th of June. The next clash in Christchurch, due to take place a week later on June 16, will be the first game to be played in Christchurch since it was badly damaged in the recent earthquake which struck the city and killed 182 people.
Ireland will wrap up the series with their third and final game due to be played in Hamilton on 23 June. They will also play against the Barbarians before the depart for New Zealand, although a time and date have not been confirmed yet.
The series could be the returning point for captain Brian O’Driscoll, who yesterday revealed that he will be out for up to six months as he has surgery on the trapped nerve in his neck/shoulder area that has been bothering the number 13 for a number of months now.
Commenting on the news NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said “Ireland really set the tournament on fire and it will be great to have them back in New Zealand next year. It is particularly special that they will play in Christchurch at the redeveloped Rugby League Park, the first Test match in Christchurch since the Canterbury earthquakes.”