LIVESTREAM: Team Ireland v. Team Belgium, Oct. 20, 6:30p (7:30p CET, 1:30p ET)

Team Ireland, the Irish Wolfhounds, will play host to Team Belgium, the Belgian Barbarians, in the first ever game between the two nations Saturday, October 20 at Navan RFC field in Navan, Ireland.

The last time the Irish national team took the field was in 2016 when they lost a rain-shortened game 20-0 to Holland’s Dutch Lions.

The Irish Wolfhounds under head coach Ciaran O’Sullivan and general manager Alan Orr are excited about the prospects of facing Belgium:

“We’re really looking forward to the challenge. The Barbarians are a good team. We’ve played some of their club members through the Atlantic Cup, so this is really a fresh start for the National program to start with Belgium in an international friendly. We’re already committed to a return fixture. So at the moment yes, we’re just getting everything in place and getting the program up and running and looking forward to playing a good quality game.”

The Belgians played two international exhibition games in 2017 defeating Team Spain 18-16 in a controversial thriller, and then downing the Russian national team 7-2 in a tight defensive battle.

Since 2014, the Barbarians have been one of the busiest national teams in Europe playing between two and four games a year. Apart from the two games in 2017, in 2016, they beat both Spain and Hungary. In 2015, they played four games including a tough loss to Holland in a European qualifier in front of almost 5,000 roaring Dutch fans. 

Spencer Wood has taken over  the coaching duties of Team Belgium from  Lee Rosky, who stepped down last year after four years in charge of the program in Belgium. He has added All-Europe running back Jaycen Taylor as running backs coach, and Saarland Hurricanes (German Football League) head coach Joe Sturdivant as defensive coordinator.

Irish Wolfhounds roster

Belgian Barbarians roster

Watch the game live here. Stream goes live at kickoff. Irish Wolfhounds v. Belgian Barbarians, Saturday, October 20, 6:30p (7:30p CET, 1:30p ET)

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