Coming off a historic win over New Zealand last weekend, Ireland look to complete a sweep of the 2018 Guinness Series on Saturday when they take on the USA Eagles inside Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
For those in the United States looking to watch, the match is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. ET. While it won’t be broadcast on television anywhere in the US, you can still watch a live stream of the match on your computer, phone or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN that broadcasts dozens of international rugby matches.
You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Ireland vs USA on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
If you can’t watch live, all games–including Ireland vs USA–that are streamed on ESPN+ are also available to be watched on-demand via ESPN.com or the ESPN app.
The 2018 Guinness Series, a trio of home autumn international test matches, has thus far gone about as well as could possibly be imagined for Ireland. Joe Schmidt’s squad began things with a 28-17 win over Argentina and then followed that up with a massive 16-9 victory against New Zealand last weekend.
It may have only been Ireland’s second win in history against the All Blacks, but it was also the second in the last three head-to-head matches. It was a huge statement victory as the No. 2 Irish continue to close the gap on New Zealand for the top ranking in the world.
Going from a defining victory against the best team in the world to a matchup against a United States team that is still just 13th in the rankings, Ireland’s biggest goal on Saturday is to keep their focus in a match in which they are heavily favored.
“(Schmidt) is just looking for us to be clinical and to bring the same sort of edge that we have brought over the last three Tests,” centre Stuart McCloskey said. “It is important not to let our level drop coming into this game.”
Ireland’s team is expected to look much differently than the one that just took down the All Blacks. Rob Kearney, James Ryan and Kieran Marmion, who all started against New Zealand, were among seven players who were relieved from the squad and will rejoin their provinces. As such, this will serve as a chance for lesser-used players to earn a regular roster spot.
“We have been training together basically for three or four weeks, sort of the second string team,” said McCloskey. “You have to make do with it…everybody has to be ready to step up to the mark if they are needed.”
As for the United States, they enter this match following an impressive 31-5 win over Romania in Bucharest last weekend.
“We’re really happy with the performance today. I think these were some very tough conditions against a pretty good Romanian team and our guys stuck to the task very well,” USA head coach Gary Gold said. “It was close at halftime but we did what we needed to do in the second half and fought really well. We withstood quite a lot of pressure from them in the second half, particularly at scrum time, but the guys held out really well and we’re very happy to have gotten the win.”
The win improved the United States’ test match win streak to nine and helped them move up to No. 13 in the world rankings. But things will get considerably more difficult for the Eagles on Saturday in Dublin, as they’ve gone winless in nine all-time matches against Ireland.
These two teams met last summer in New Jersey, with Ireland rolling to a 55-19 victory.
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