The All Blacks team has been named to play Ireland in the eagerly-anticipated Test at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday 19 November (Kick-off: 5.30PM GMT, 6.30AM Sunday 20 November NZT).
The matchday 23 for the third Test of the Vista Northern Tour is (with Test caps in brackets):
1. Joe Moody (22)
2. Dane Coles (47)
3. Owen Franks (88)
4. Brodie Retallick (58)
5. Samuel Whitelock (82)
6. Liam Squire (7)
7. Sam Cane (39)
8. Kieran Read – captain (95)
9. Aaron Smith (56)
10. Beauden Barrett (47)
11. Julian Savea (50)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (6)
13. Malakai Fekitoa (22)
14. Israel Dagg (59)
15. Ben Smith (59)
16. Codie Taylor (13)
17. Wyatt Crockett (56)
18. Charlie Faumuina (44)
19. Scott Barrett (2)
20. Ardie Savea (10)
21. TJ Perenara (27)
22. Aaron Cruden (45)
23. Waisake Naholo (10)
In the forwards, the starting front row from the first Test against Ireland of props Joe Moody and Owen Franks and hooker Dane Coles, has been bolstered by the return of senior locks Brodie Retallick and Samuel Whitelock, while in the loose forwards, captain Kieran Read returns at number eight, while last week’s captain, Sam Cane, is alongside him in the number seven jersey for his 40th Test. Regular blindside flanker Jerome Kaino has been ruled out with a mild calf strain, so Liam Squire will make his third Test start in his eighth Test, in the number six jersey.
In the backs, halfback Aaron Smith and first five-eighth Beauden Barrett will start their eighth Test of 2016 as the starting inside pairing, while second five-eighth Anton Lienert-Brown and centre Malakai Fekitoa will play their second consecutive Test in the midfield. In the outsides, Ben Smith is at fullback and Israel Dagg on the right wing in what will be the 60th Test for both, with Julian Savea in his regular left wing jersey. The replacements bench is hooker Codie Taylor and props Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina, lock Scott Barrett in his third test of the Tour, loose forward Ardie Savea, halfback TJ Perenara, first five-eighth Aaron Cruden and outside back Waisake Naholo.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “As expected, there is huge excitement and anticipation within our squad ahead of this weekend’s Test against the Irish. While there was obvious disappointment at the loss in Chicago, disappointment doesn’t win Test matches – it’s about having great preparation and attitude, and delivering on the day.
“We know the challenge we face from Ireland will again be massive and we are going into the game as the underdogs. They’ll be full of confidence and committed to delivering on their home patch. So we will have to take a massive step up, to get the performance we are looking for. It is a challenge that this team needs right now and how we respond will tell us a lot about ourselves. As I said, we are very much looking forward to Saturday.”
All Blacks vs Ireland – key facts
* The All Blacks and Ireland have played each other 29 times since 1905, with 27 wins to the All Blacks, a single 10-10 draw in 1973 and one loss.
* As well as Scott Barrett, eight other players will be playing in their third Test of the Vista Northern Tour: Naholo, Fekitoa, Cruden, Aaron Smith, Cane, Moody, Faumuina and Taylor.
* Beauden Barrett, who was named World Player of the Year on the weekend, has converted 34 tries for the All Blacks so far this year, the second most by any All Black since Dan Carter kicked 39 in 2010. Only two players in New Zealand’s history have kicked more first-class conversions in a calendar year than Barrett’s 84 to date: former Northland and Wellington (and Leinster) player David Holwell who kicked 85 and current All Blacks selector Grant Fox, who kicked 85, 93 and 103 in three separate years.
* The All Blacks have scored four or more tries in 12 consecutive matches this year.
* All Blacks captain Kieran Read and Owen Franks will be playing their eighth Tests against Ireland.
* Aaron Smith picked up his 50th All Black win in his 56th Test last weekend.
* Of the All Blacks Vista Northern Tour squad, 18 weren’t at last year’s Rugby World Cup.
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