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Ireland will play two test matches in the summer of 2021, after games against both the USA and Japan were confirmed by the IRFU this morning.

Ireland were forced to make alternative plans, after their proposed tour of Fiji was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, USA Eagles head coach Gary Gold revealed his side had been lined-up to take on Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, while the IRFU confirmed that news today as well as announcing a game one week earlier against Japan.

It will be a first meeting of Ireland and Japan since the Brave Blossoms' shock win against Ireland at the 2019 World Cup.

The games will be an opportunity for head coach Andy Farrell to test out a number of inexperienced players at international level, with eight of his side selected to tour South African with the British and Irish Lions.

Conor Murray, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, Andrew Porter, Iain Henderson, Bundee Aki, Jack Conan and Robbie Hedhaw were all picked by Warren Gatland in his 37-man squad last Thursday.

Speaking upon the confirmation of the July test matches, IRFU High Performance Director David Nucifore said:

"We are delighted to be in a position to announce these two fixtures so soon after the disappointment of the Fiji tour cancellation.  This is a very important window for the development of the group and we are grateful to both the Japan, the US and World Rugby for facilitating these games in July."

Head coach Andy Farrell added: "We now have two games at home to focus on which will be great for the group.  There have been some strong individual performances in the Rainbow Cup over the past couple of weeks and there are plenty of opportunities for players to put themselves in the frame for selection for the international window in July."

Ireland Fixtures July 2021

IRELAND v Japan
Saturday 3rd July, 2021
Aviva Stadium 

IRELAND v USA
Saturday 10th July, 2021
Aviva Stadium

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