Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says he would welcome the return of 'A' games for his side next year.

It's been more six years since the last Ireland Wolfhounds game (an 18-9 defeat to the England Saxons in Cork in 2015) but reports this week suggested they could be set to return in 2022.

The IRFU are believed to be working towards 'A' internationals during the Six Nations next year against both England and Wales, creating an opportunity for Farrell to get extra exposure for the younger players in his squad.

It's also been reported that there are plans to play two midweek fixtures during the summer tour of New Zealand, with one game against New Zealand Maori, and a further tour match against one of the country's Super Rugby franchises.

Considering 10 of the squad for the Autumn Nations Series will have missed out on appearances during this November window, the prospect of four more opportunities to examine squad depth is likely to entice Farrell and his coaching team.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's Autumn Nations Series meeting with Argentina (live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player), the head coach said he couldn't give an update on plans to stage 'A' games next year, but says they would certainly be welcomed.

"I can't tell you anything specific because nothing's been sorted but we have spoke openly about the lack of time that we’ve had together because of Covid etc, with the tours that have been cancelled etc. So we’re always seeking a way and trying to get extra games.

"We were unlucky this time around as well with the American game being called off and we tried to get Georgia after that but there was some complications in travel, we couldn’t get that. We’re always trying to find a way of finding more time to be together.

"It would be great, yes. So much work is going on in the background and hopefully we can get something done soon," he said.

Jack Conan was yet to make his Ireland debut when he featured in the most recent Ireland Wolfhounds outing in 2015

Ireland's participation in the Churchill Cup between 2006 and 2009 led to ample 'A' games in those years, before they fell back to just two 'A' games per year in 2010, 2011 and 2012, with the non-cap team playing just one game a season up until their most recent outing in 2015.

"I don’t think they’re 'A' games," Farrell said.

"I look at them as games where we’ll see whether people can perform under pressure, whether they can step up.

"I like the fact people can come together from the provinces and see how quickly they can gel because that’s the most important part of being an international player. So the more the better in that regard."

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