All Blacks team named for Test against Ireland

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The All Blacks team has been named to play the Vista Northern Tour Test against Ireland at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday 17 November (Kick-off: 7.00PM Ireland time, NZT: 8.00AM Sunday 18 November).

The matchday 23 is as follows (with Test caps in brackets):

1.Karl Tu’inukuafe (11)

2. Codie Taylor (40)
3. Owen Franks (105)
4. Brodie Retallick (73)
5. Samuel Whitelock (107)
6. Liam Squire (22)
7. Ardie Savea (33)
8. Kieran Read – captain (116)
9. Aaron Smith (81)
10. Beauden Barrett (71)
11. Rieko Ioane (22)
12. Ryan Crotty (43)
13. Jack Goodhue (6)
14. Ben Smith (75)
15. Damian McKenzie (21)
16. Dane Coles (58)
17. Ofa Tuungafasi (24)
18. Nepo Laulala (15)
19. Scott Barrett (27)
20. Matt Todd (16)
21. TJ Perenara (53)
22. Richie Mo’unga (6)
23. Anton Lienert-Brown (31)

The matchday 23 features just the one change from the team which beat England last weekend: Ryan Crotty comes in for the injured Sonny Bill Williams, with Anton Lienert-Brown coming into the run on reserves in the 23 jersey.


All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “This will be another great challenge for our squad and one that we’re all really looking forward to.  These are the types of Test matches that gets everyone up – it’s number one versus number two – and there’s a real excitement that’s building as we get closer to Saturday.

“The earlier part of our week has been about getting our processes and clarity right, focussing on our core roles and the execution of our skills and then going out and training well.

“On Saturday we’ll be playing an opponent who will want to keep the ball for long periods of time, and if they aren’t getting what they want, then they’ll kick and try to pressure us.

“For us, we’ll need to be strong at set piece, both on our ball and theirs, and be prepared to work hard with or without the ball.  When the momentum comes our way, we’ll need to take the opportunities that will come, as the team that makes the most of their opportunities will win the game.”

Steve Hansen added: “As always, we’ve been given a warm welcome by the Irish public and we look forward to playing our part in what will be a wonderful game at one of the great rugby stadiums.”

Meanwhile, it will be a significant match for three All Blacks.


Aaron Smith will play his 82nd Test match and become the most capped All Blacks halfback in history, overtaking Justin Marshall, while Brodie Retallick and Samuel Whitelock will set a new record for an All Blacks starting lock partnership, starting in their 50th Test together.

“On behalf of the All Blacks, we want to congratulate Aaron, Brodie and Sam on their achievements,” Hansen said.


Key facts – All Blacks vs Ireland

* The All Blacks and Ireland have played each other 30 times, with 28 wins to the All Blacks, one to Ireland and one draw.  The last match was in Dublin in November 2016, which the All Blacks won 21-9.
* All Blacks Captain Kieran Read celebrated 100 Test wins last weekend – he’s the fourth player in history to record 100 Test match wins, behind Richie McCaw (131), Keven Mealamu (114) and Tony Woodcock (102).
* Beauden Barrett has become the first player to score 100 international points this year. He is on 106 points, with South African Handre Pollard on 100 and England’s Owen Farrell on 91.


The Vista 2018 All Blacks Northern Tour

1. All Blacks 37 Australia 20. Saturday 27 October, Nissan Stadium, YOKOHAMA
2. Japan 31 All Blacks 69. Saturday 3 November, Ajinomoto Stadium, TOKYO
3. England 15 All Blacks 16. Saturday 10 November, Twickenham, LONDON
4. vs. IRELAND. Saturday 17 November, Aviva Stadium, IRELAND
Kick-off: 7.00PM BST (NZT: 8.00AM Sunday 18 November)
5. vs. ITALY. Saturday 24 November, Stadio Olimpico, ROME
Kick-off: 3.00PM CST (NZT: 3.00AM Sunday 25 November)

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