Ireland vs. Australia Rugby 2013: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 16, 2013

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies takes a high ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

Ireland and Australia, who are both coming off easy victories last time out, will give each other a severe examination of their skills in Dublin this weekend.

Coaches Joe Schmidt and Ewen McKenzie are no strangers to one another, having managed in Super Rugby during the mid 2000s, spearheading the Auckland Blues and Waratahs respectively, before moving on to other ventures.

Now both in the international frame, the pair will come full circle when they clash this weekend. Having said that, New Zealander Schmidt will put all Southern Hemisphere allegiances to one side in an effort to see Ireland continue their good opening to the November internationals.

Australia and Ireland ran out as winners against Italy and Samoa last weekend, but this replica of the 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C encounter promises to be a meeting of entirely bigger promise.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 16

Time: 5:45 p.m. local time (GMT)/1:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Viewing Info: BBC Two (UK)

Stream: BBC Sport website

League World Cup Precursor?

It was just last week that these two nations met at Munster's Thomond Park, but on that occasion Rugby League World Cup pride was the only thing on the line.

Tim Sheens' Kangaroos handed their Irish hosts a 50-0 drubbing in their own backyard, but their union counterparts won't have the advantage of being able to call upon their NRL talents this time around.

That being said, Australia's attack was in fluid motion last week against Italy in Turin, Nick Cummins putting in a particularly impressive display from the wing in scoring two tries and assisting another.

Ireland will have a hard time caging that attack if it gains momentum but exorcised some creative demons themselves in the last seven days, Schmidt's Leinster-inspired squad showing some offensive majesty of their own against the Samoans.

Ireland One to Watch: Jonny Sexton

Sexton has recent experience against the Wallabies
Sexton has recent experience against the WallabiesScott Barbour/Getty Images

After Paddy Jackson held a good account of himself last week, Jonny Sexton comes into the Ireland starting XV this weekend.

The Racing Metro playmaker hasn't featured as part of Schmidt's new Test regime yet but is bound to have a good relationship with the coach from their time together at the RDS.

The Irish Independent recently confirmed that the fly-half had been shortlisted for Fans' World Player of the Year for 2013:

More conservative than his Wallabies' counterpart Quade Cooper, Sexton has put a physical spin on his play in the Top 14 so far this season, showing the French top flight just what kind of talent he possesses when carrying ball in hand.

The Dublin crowd will be hoping to see some of that upfront nature brought to the fore on Saturday, but more than anything, it will be interesting to see how Sexton functions on his return to the international setup, back among fellow British and Irish Lions.

Australia One to Watch: Michael Hooper

For months now, Michael Hooper has shown himself to be one of international rugby's biggest nuisances at the breakdown, sniffing up anything that was available at the Rugby Championship before bringing that form to Europe this month.

Hooper was a force against Italy
Hooper was a force against ItalyHarry Engels/Getty Images

The 22-year-old starts at openside flanker this weekend opposite Sean O'Brien, in what promises to be an explosive resurrection of the encounter that fans missed out on during this summer's British and Irish Lions tour.

Despite being so young, Hooper is scrappy as they come and will be heavily responsible for ensuring his side get a decent amount of turnover ball to work from.

Prediction: Ireland 26-22 Australia


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