All Blacks to face Ireland in Chicago

The All Blacks are set to take on Ireland for the first time in the USA on 5 November.

The world champs will return to Chicago for the clash, having played the USA Eagles in front of 61,500 fans at a packed-out Soldier Field in 2014.

November's fixture will see the All Blacks and Ireland go head to head for the first time since the nail-biting 2013 Dublin Test when the Kiwis pipped Ireland 24-22 in the dying seconds to complete a perfect unbeaten season. 

The Chicago Test is just the fourth visit to the USA by the All Blacks, while it was also confirmed on Tuesday that the Maori All Blacks will take on the USA Eagles on 4 November.

'We have very fond memories of playing in Chicago in 2014,' New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said. 'We really appreciated the efforts of the city in rolling out the welcome mat for rugby. We know American fans had a very special experience and we expect a whole new group of fans to enjoy what will be a unique showcase of top class rugby over consecutive days.'

Irish Rugby Football Union CEO, Philip Browne, said they expected to receive good support in Chicago.

'There is a huge population in the USA who are proud of their Irish heritage as well as large numbers of Irish who have migrated more recently to live and work in the USA. We know that many of these people are Irish rugby fans and we look forward to seeing them pack out the stadium.'

USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville said they were once again looking forward to the occasion.

'The city and its fans have shown the world how passionate they are about the sport, and we think this will again take the game’s popularity to another level.'

The All Blacks will play Ireland again on 19 November at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin as part of their end-of-year tour, which will also see them play Tests against France and Italy.

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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