The world’s No.1 rugby side prepare for the third game of their 2022 end-of-year Tests, as Ireland welcome Australia to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The two sides come into this match with their current fortunes a mile apart, the visitors having lost two of their three games on their tour, including a first ever defeat to Italy in Florence last weekend.
Ireland, meanwhile, have carried their strong form in 2022 into the end of the year, most notably topping South Africa in their first match of the autumn campaign. The win was no fluke, either, as Andy Farrell’s men emerged into a commanding 16-6 lead early in the second half. The Springboks responded with two late, unconverted tries, but the sharpshooting boot of captain Johnny Sexton notched nine points to ensure the hosts held on, winning 19-16.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 18, 2022
Australia’s autumn started with a win in Scotland, toppling the hosts 16-15 in a game marred by poor discipline from both sides. The Wallabies rounded their luck to beat Scotland by a point, but that luck ran out in their following matches on the European continent. A late piece of magic from Damian Penaud saw France win an end-to-end battle, triumphing 30-29 in Saint-Denis. Australia’s performance showed a marked improvement from the previous week, but the doubts over Dave Rennie’s side lingered and were exposed again by Italy, who recorded their first victory over the Wallabies after 39 years and 18 attempts.
Ireland’s strong autumn form continued into their match last weekend with a convincing win over Fiji. The hosts scored five tries in the process as their much-changed side showed the strength in depth they possess, with Australia-born winger Mack Hansen crossing in the second half, having done the same against South Africa the previous week.
Australia also made some changes ahead of their trip to Italy, but the Azzurri’s breathtaking backline play caught them by surprise. The hosts scored two tries within moments of each other, exploiting gaping holes in the Wallbies’ left-edge defence, and despite an Australian fighter seeing them cross either side of half-time, another Italy try, plus points from the boot of Tommaso Allan , meant that Italy never surrendered the lead. When Caderyn Neville crossed in the final minute, Australia brought the deficit back to just a point, but debutant Ben Donaldson couldn’t nail the conversion, meaning Italy held on for a famous 28-27 victory.
At a record low in the World Rugby rankings, the wounded Wallabies now face a mammoth task to get past the side on top of the pile. History says Australia have what it takes to get a result at the Aviva Stadium, but given the form Ireland are in, it’s going to be the tallest of orders to topple Andy Farrell’s men in what should be a match of the highest quality in Dublin.
🚫 Like a thief in the night! #FlashbackFriday
🗓 Sunday 20 November, 7am AEDT
🏟 Aviva Stadium, Dublin
— Wallabies (@wallabies) November 18, 2022
MORE: Inside the concerning downturn in the Wallabies’ 2022 form
What time is Ireland vs. Australia?
Ireland host Australia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday, November 19. The game kicks off at 8.00 pm GMT.
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|Time||20:00 GMT||07:00 AEDT||09:00 NZDT||15:00 ET|
How to watch Ireland vs. Australia
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UK: The Test match is available to stream via subscription service Amazon Prime Video in the UK.
Australia: All matches in the Autumn Nations Series, as well as this Test, will be streamed via Stan Sport in Australia.
New Zealand: Sky Sport is the place to catch the end-of-year international matches.
US: Subscription service FloSports has exclusive rights to the Autumn Nations Series with matches available to stream online.
Ireland vs. Australian lineups
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 15, 2022
Canberra-born wing Mack Hansen only made his Ireland debut in this year’s Six Nations, but the Connacht wideman is already a crowd favorite among the Dublin faithful. He’s scored three tries in his eight Tests, two of which have come in his past two games. He’ll start on the right edge against his birth nation of him, with Jimmy O’Brienwho also impressed on debut against the Springboks, lining up on the opposite side.
Ireland will be led, as ever, by the evergreen Johnny Sexton, who this week received his third nomination for World Rugby’s international player of the year. He won the award the last time he was nominated in 2018, and spearheading his side to yet another victory might just do the trick for the Leinster fly-half. He was joined on the list by flanker Josh van der Flier, who retains his spot on the openside flank of the scrum. Like Hansen, he scored early in the second half to give Ireland full control against the Springboks.
Ireland XV: Hugo Keenan, Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Stuart McCloskey, Jimmy O’Brien, Johnny Sexton, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris
Ireland Replacements: Rob Herring, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Joe McCarthy, Jack Conan, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Bundee Aki
— Autumn Nations Series (@autumnnations) November 17, 2022
The return of Bernard Foley will be a welcome relief for all Australia fans hoping to see a Wallabies victory in this game, with the veteran fly-half being crucial to their cause in the first two games of the autumn series. His 11 points off the tee won the match for Australia at Murrayfield, while another 16 against France saw the Wallabies lead large portions of that match. His game management and ability to manipulate space with ball in hand was sorely missed against Italy, and although the benched Noah Lolesio kicked every shot at goal he faced in Florence, Foley’s experience is clearly what Australia need if they’re to have a chance of topping the Irish.
Another pair of key returnees for the Wallabies are michael hooper and captain James Slipper, both of whom were rested against Italy. Like Foley, their experience is exactly what Australia were missing to get them over the line, as poor ability to manage the game meant Italy were able to build up a lead that ultimately proved unassailable. The Wallabies’ young guns will develop that mentality and experience over time, but against the world’s top side, Dave Rennie needs his tried and trusted stars to be fit and firing.
Australian XV: Andrew Kellaway, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Tom Wright, Bernard Foley, Nic White; James Slipper, Dave Porecki, Allan Alaalatoa, Nick Frost, Caderyn Neville, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper, Rob Valetini
Australian Replacements: Folau Fainga’a, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Will Skelton, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Jordan Petaia
The opposition for Saturday! #TeamOfUs https://t.co/D6mU1wpRE8
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 17, 2022
MORE: Wallabies’ player ratings following loss to Italy on end-of-year tour.
Ireland vs. Australia odds
An Irish victory is, understandably, heavily backed by the bookmakers, with the hosts at extremely short odds to taste victory in Dublin.
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