Irish rugby was in a bit of a post-World Cup slump in mid November. It still is of course but a couple of weeks ago we needed a bit of a pick me up. Thankfully we got it in the shape of the 2016 Guinness Series.
Everything was being built up to 2015, so when it was reported that Australia and New Zealand were on their way to Ireland this time next year, it gave us something to look forward to. It's a chance to get another win over the Wallabies and to get that first precious win against the All Blacks. Aside from the Six Nations, it's a goal to build the year around.
Although we all knew it was happening, the IRFU have today confirmed the two fixtures against the world's top two sides, as well as another match against a tier 2 nation. New Zealand are coming here for the first time since that horrible defeat in 2013, while Australia will be trying to get some revenge after Paul O'Connell inspired Ireland to victory in 2014.
Guinness Series 2016 Fixtures
Ireland vs Tier 2 Nation, Saturday 12th November 2016
Ireland vs New Zealand, Saturday 19th November 2016
Ireland vs Australia, Saturday 26th November 2016
The tier 2 nation in question and the times of the games will be announced at a later date.