Ireland face Maori All-Blacks in New Zealand tour opener

Hugo Keenan tackled by Rieko Ioane during last November's test in Dublin.

Ireland’s Summer tour of New Zealand kicks off with a game against the Maori All-Blacks on Wednesday.

Andy Farrell’s side are scheduled to play three test matches against the All Blacks with two games against the Maori sandwiched in as mid-week games to whet the appetite.

Speaking to Irish Rugby prior to departure, Andy Farrell was not taking the threat posed by the Maori for granted.

“The Māori All Blacks will provide a stern test of our squad strength and depth. They are effectively a Test match side that have a proud tradition and impressive record of results. This tour is a huge opportunity for the group to develop and test itself against the best in their own backyard.

Playing five games against such quality opposition will be of huge benefit to the group as we tour for the first time since 2018.”

The Irish squad touched down in Auckland and their first training session kicked off at the North Harbour Stadium.

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Ireland will have high hopes going into the three tests as in recent years both Joe Schmidt and Andy Farrell’s teams have been able to overcome the Kiwis challenge.

In their last five meetings the boys in green have taken the upper hand with three wins out of five.

The full list of fixture dates and kick-off times:

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