Is New Zealand vs Ireland on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch summer tour

·5 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland face New Zealand in a mouth-watering three-match Test series this summer, with the first Test coming early in the morning (UK time) on Saturday.

The Irish had never defeated the All Blacks in 111 years of trying until a memorable 40-29 victory in Chicago in 2016 but have now won three of their last five fixtures against the three-time world champions.

However, the final frontier they are yet to conquer is a win in New Zealand but this summer appears to give them their best chance in a long time, as Andy Farrell’s men are among the top teams in the world following a Six Nations that saw their only defeat come to Grand Slam champions France.

If it is to come in this first Test, they will need to end an unbeaten streak at Eden Park for the All Blacks that stretches all the way back to 1994 - huge ask. A much-changed Ireland side also suffered a chastening defeat to the Maori All Blacks in midweek but only one of that starting XV will line up come the opening whistle on Saturday.

Here’s all you need to know about the first Test:

When is New Zealand vs Ireland?

The first Test will be played at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday 2 July at 8.05am BST.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event - with coverage starting at 7.30am. If you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.

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What is the team news?

Ireland have opted for ten of the starting XV that bested the All Blacks for the third time in their history back in November. Meanwhile, Keith Earls is the only member of the starting line-up that was defeated by the Maori All Blacks in midweek to retain his place. Johnny Sexton captains the side from fly-half, while Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are preferred in the centres to Bundee Aki and Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris form the back row as Jack Conan is a replacement.

Crusaders wing Leicester Fainga’anuku will make his All Blacks debut and Chiefs back-rower Pita Gus Sowakula could do likewise from the bench. New Zealand’s preparations for this first Test have been disrupted by several coaches and players testing positive for Covid but they have named an experienced side - including three Barrett brothers in the starting XV: Beauden gets the nod at fly-half ahead of Richie Mo’unga, Scott is named at blindside flanker and Jordie is at full-back.

Ireland: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Keith Earls, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. James Lowe, 10. Johnny Sexton (C), 9. Jamison Gibson Park; 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Dan Sheehan, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. James Ryan, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris

Replacements: 16. Dave Heffernan, 17. Finlay Bealham, 18. Cian Healy, 19. Kieran Treadwell, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Joey Carbery, 23. Bundee Aki

New Zealand: 15. Jordie Barrett; 14. Sevu Reece, 13. Rieko Ioane, 12. Quinn Tupaea, 11. Leicester Fainga’anuku; 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. Aaron Smith; 1. George Bower, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Scott Barrett, 7. Sam Cane (C), 8. Ardie Savea.

Replacements: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17. Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18. Angus Ta’avao, 19. Pita Gus Sowakula, 20. Dalton Papalii, 21. Finlay Christie, 22. Richie Mo’unga, 23. Braydon Ennor.

Odds

New Zealand win - 1/4

Draw - 33/1

Ireland win - 9/2

Prediction

At a neutral version, or on Irish soil, Ireland might well be favourites against the All Blacks but their Eden Park record is so formidable, it’s hard to predict anything other than a New Zealand victory. Ireland may well get their first win over the All Blacks in New Zealand during this series but it’s unlikely to be in this first Test. New Zealand 32-24 Ireland

Full TV schedule for summer tours

Saturday, July 2

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Saturday, July 9

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Tuesday, July 12

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Saturday, July 16

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales - live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland - live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)