All Blacks to face Ireland at Chicago's Soldier Field

New Zealand will face Ireland at Chicago's Soldier Field stadium on Nov. 5.

It marks the All Blacks' return to the stadium that saw a record 61,500 fans watch them beat the USA Eagles in 2014. The fixture will be part of "The Rugby Weekend", which also sees the Maori All Blacks take on the USA Eagles at Toyota Park on Nov. 4.

"We have very fond memories of playing in Chicago in 2014," New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said. "We really appreciated the efforts of the city in rolling out the welcome mat for rugby.

"We know American fans had a very special experience and we expect a whole new group of fans to enjoy what will be a unique showcase of top class rugby over consecutive days. The Maori All Blacks also play an exciting brand of rugby and are fantastic ambassadors for our culture and our country so this will be a great way to kick off The Rugby Weekend.

"We're really looking forward to coming back to the USA where the game is growing rapidly and to a city which we know loves sport."

USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville added: "The city and its fans have shown the world how passionate they are about the sport, and we think this weekend will again take the game's popularity to another level."

The All Blacks will face Ireland for the first time since 2013, when New Zealand struck late in Dublin to secure a 24-22 victory and end their season unbeaten. Following their clash in Chicago, the two teams will go head-to-head at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Nov. 19.

The All Blacks also face Italy in Rome and France in Paris as part of their End of Year Tour.

"The match against the USA Eagles in 2014 was a huge success and we are excited to be returning to Chicago," New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said. "It will certainly be a unique occasion for the team: playing Ireland in Chicago and then again in Dublin two weeks later.

"I'm sure All Blacks and Irish fans from all over North America and the world will descend on Chicago for what will be a truly historic match."