Michael Bradley’s outfit will face the US Eagles on Saturday, June 3, and the Maori, the 2004 winners, on Saturday, June 10. Both Pool A ties will be staged in San Francisco.

Cup holders England ‘A’ will square off against Canada and Scotland ‘A’ in Pool B.

Ireland’s first ever involvement in the Churchill Cup, which comes to a climax with three finals at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, June 17, crowns the busiest season for the ‘A’ squad for some time.

Coach Bradley also has to negotiate three RBS Six Nations fixtures against France (away), Scotland (home) and England (away) in the spring. France were beaten 15-9 at Donnybrook last March in the ‘A’ squad’s only fixture of the 2004/05 season.

The Churchill Cup runs simultaneously with Ireland’s summer tour which will see Eddie O’Sullivan’s senior squad taking on Australia (June 10) and New Zealand twice (June 17, 24).

All nine matches of the 2006 Churchill Cup will be broadcast live by Sky Sports .