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Ireland to kick off World Cup in Cardiff

IRELAND will kick off their 2015 World Cup campaign with a match in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff – scene of their 2009 Grand Slam triumph.

Joe Schmidt's men will also finish their Pool D campaign in Cardiff with what is likely to be the toughest game of their Pool – a showdown with France.

Ireland's two other Pool games will be played in London.

Also in the fixtures announced today, it was revealed that New Zealand will open the defence of their title against Argentina at Wembley.

Wales will play their games against the two qualifiers at the Millennium Stadium but their pivotal fixtures against England and Australia will both be at Twickenham.


Sat Sep 19: Ireland v Americas 1, Millennium Stadium

Sun Sep 27: Ireland v Europe 2, Wembley Stadium

Sun Oct 4: Ireland v Italy, Olympic Stadium

Sun Oct 11: France v Ireland, Millennium Stadium

Sky Sports will screen live RaboDirect PRO 12 games for the first time from 2014, it has been announced.

Celtic Rugby today confirmed a four-year deal with the satellite broadcaster that will see Sky showing 30 live games per season, plus the competition's play-offs and final.

The agreement will begin at the start of season 2014-15.

Celtic Rugby says it is still in negotiations with other broadcasters, and will announce further agreements in due course, although it is not believed that the Sky deal will impact on existing coverage by RTE and TG4.