Ireland beating the All Blacks in NZ would be 'biggest moment' in their rugby history
Ireland wrapped up their Six Nations campaign with another bonus point victory over Scotland, completing a trio of bonus-point wins over their Triple Crown rivals and have now set sights on their mid-year tour.
The Irish will tour New Zealand in July for the first time since 2012 for a three-match test series. It has become a highly-anticipated clash after Ireland’s win over the All Blacks in November with the potential for history to be made.
Ireland have never beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand, while no touring European side has captured a series win on Kiwi soil since the start of the professional era in 1996.
Speaking on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod, former Blues and All Black hooker James Parsons said it would be “the true test” for Ireland, who he said were “men possessed” when they play at home.
“I think it will be the true test of them. Coming down here to win away from home, and implement the same aura they have in Ireland, in Dublin,” Parsons said.
“You know, they do seem like men possessed. If they can bring that sort of focus and physicality, they’ll definitely be in with a chance.
“In past years if you asked about it, I’d be like, ‘Nah, nah the All Blacks will win the series,’ but it’s a lot closer and a lot harder to pick.
“But, I still feel like the All Blacks will have the favourites tag being at home.”
Crusaders halfback Bryn Hall was hopeful that Kiwi fans would get to see the best Ireland can bring with a squad as strong as what was seen in the Six Nations.
“Hopefully they get to bring their full squad down, their strongest squad from the Six Nations,” Hall told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.
“Sometimes touring sides fall into that battle with the clubs back home and can’t bring them down here but it would be great to see the Irish team we saw in the Six Nations come down to New Zealand for a really good test match series.
“I can only imagine on that side of the world they are looking forward to that challenge.”
Parsons suggested that if Ireland could pull off a series victory in New Zealand, it would be more impressive than what France’s recent Six Nations Grand Slam title.
“If they [Ireland] want to win 2023, surely their motivation is, ‘We springboard ourselves right into this with our internal confidence but our outward confidence,'” Parsons said.
“Leaving New Zealand with a winning series, that would be a bigger statement than what France has made.
“I agree with Bryn, I hope they bring their number one and they come down here on a mission. Obviously I want the All Blacks to win but it will be great viewing.”
Aotearoa Rugby Pod host Ross Karl added a series win over the All Blacks in New Zealand would be significant in the context of Irish rugby history
“It would be the biggest moment probably in Irish rugby history. They’ve been big enough to beat the All Blacks twice in the last few years, but that’s not beating them in New Zealand.”
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