IRELAND FACE A mammoth first test against the New Zealand in Eden Park, Auckland in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Ireland are looking to beat the All-Blacks for the second time in the space of a year, and the 4th time in 6 years.
The problem for Ireland is that New Zealand's record at Eden Park is impeccable. The All Blacks last defeat in the venue came way back in 1994.
Ireland have named a strong side for the game with 10 of the players that bested the three-time in November starting tomorrow. New Zealand have also named a formidable side in the opening game.
One of the biggest talking points of the week was the Joe Schmidt's fast track into the New Zealand setup. The All Blacks have been hit with Covid cases, meaning that the former Ireland coach, who was meant to begin work with New Zealand as a selector after the tour will now start ahead of schedule.
During the week Ireland's second string side were humbled against the Maori All Blacks 32-17, so this test will provide ample evidence to see how we contend with the world's best ahead of a World Cup year.
Here are details for the game tomorrow.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) June 30, 2022
The game will kick off at 8.05am Irish time kick-off, so it's best you get up early.
The game will take place at Eden Park in Auckland
Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action will start their coverage starting at 7.30am.
If you don't have a TV, you can hear the game on RTÉ 2fm.
Referee: Karl Dickson (RFU), Assistant Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU), Assistant Referee: Jordan Way (RA), TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU)
What the coaches have said
Andy Farrell: "We’re under no illusions of what we’re up against. Any type of performance that we’ve had before where we’ve managed to get over the line, that won’t do this weekend, I’m sure about that.
Ian Foster: "It's a great series for us. We like the pressure of this series. I've said for the last couple of months, I think it is ideal for us."
Starting teams and subs
Ireland – H Keenan; K Earls G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; J Sexton (capt), J Gibson-Park; A Porter, D Sheehan, T Furlong; T Beirne, J Ryan; P O'Mahony, J van der Flier, C Doris.
Reps: D Heffernan, F Bealham, C Healy, K Treadwell, J Conan, C Murray, J Carbery, B Aki.
New Zealand - J Barrett; S Reece, R Ioane, Q Tupaea, L Fainga’anuku; B Barrett, A Smith; G Bower, C Taylor, O Tu’ungafasi, B Retallick, S Whitelock, S Barrett, S Cane (capt), A Savea.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) June 29, 2022
Odds can be found here
Ireland's record against the All Blacks
New Zealand - 29 wins
Ireland - 3 wins
Draws - 1
Ireland's last tour to New Zealand
Ireland last entered the world champions back yard in 2012. They went winless on the last tour.
New Zealand 42 10 Ireland, 9 June 2012, Eden Park, Auckland
New Zealand 22 19 Ireland, 16 June 2012, Rugby League Park, Christchurch
New Zealand 60 0 Ireland, 23 June 2012, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton