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All Blacks to face England and Ireland next year

The All Blacks have not faced England since Eddie Jones took over after the 2015 World Cup but that will change when they will face Ireland and England next year in November.

Irish media have reported that the All Blacks will take on Ireland in Dublin next November, continuing a rivalry which has produced several tight games under Joe Schmidt’s reign in charge.

A last-gasp 24-22 All Blacks victory in 2013 was followed by a 40-29 defeat in Chicago and 21-9 victory in Dublin last year, with the Chicago triumph being Ireland’s first win over the All Blacks.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt pinpointed the All Blacks as one of the teams on their November schedule.

“I think we’ve got Argentina and New Zealand,” Schmidt said in a press conference.

“You never know the tier two [opponents] until later but I think it is Argentina and New Zealand.”

There could also be another game on Ireland’s fixture at a neutral venue, potentially a second clash against the All Blacks, but Schmidt is yet to confirm details.

“We’ll always get asked for a fourth game. We are very conscious of looking after the provinces as well. It is a little bit of a compromise.

“We haven’t had a formal request from anyone yet but if there is one, as we got for the match in Chicago, then we’d consider it if it comes up and we’d try and stay in touch with the provincial coaches and see if we can make it work.”

The clash means that the All Blacks will play all of the current top five in the world rankings – with England (2) and Ireland (3) both on the end-of-year schedule, and the regular Rugby Championship games against Australia (4) and South Africa (5).

The Irish leapfrogged the Wallabies into third spot after defeating Argentina 28-19 in Dublin while Michael Cheika’s team recorded a surprise 53-24 loss to Scotland in Edinburgh.

The three-time Six Nations champions have enjoyed a memorable November test series, going through their three-match schedule undefeated after scoring wins over South Africa and Fiji as well as the Pumas.

Their 38-3 thrashing of the Springboks a fortnight ago was particularly noteworthy, as it was their largest-ever winning margin over the two-time world champions.

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