All Blacks vs Ireland: All you need to know ahead of the All Blacks’ clash against Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
All Blacks v Ireland, Sunday November 18, 8am kickoff (NZT)
Another week, another battle between two heavyweights of world rugby.
The All Blacks and Ireland, ranked No.1 and 2 in the world respectively, will throw down on the hollowed turf at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road for their 31st match up since 1905.
Since their first meeting, things haven’t gone all that well from the Irish side – with just one win to their name.
The All Blacks have made just one change to their starting XV from the side that beat England a week ago. Sonny Bill Williams, who was unavailable due to injury, has been replaced in the No.12 jersey by Ryan Crotty, while Anton Lienert-Brown joins the bench.
Steve Hansen has elected to continue running three first five-eighths in his 23, with Damian McKenzie again donning the No.15 jersey behind Beauden Barrett in the No.10, allowing Richie Mo’unga a space on the bench. Scott Barrett will again provide cover at lock and blindside flanker from the bench.
Ireland are without three of their usual stars, with Connor Murray, Sean O’Brien and Robbie Henshaw all unavailable. Halfback Murray is arguably the biggest loss for the side, with his accurate box-kicking game known to test opposition backlines in the air.
O’Brien and Henshaw were injured in the side’s 28-17 win over Argentina last weekend, with O’Brien breaking his arm and Henshaw injuring his hamstring.
Wayne Barnes will have the whistle.
All Blacks: Damian McKenzie, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Karl Tu’inukuafe. Reserves: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo’unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.
How to watch
The Herald will be live blogging the test while Radio Sport will also have live commentary. Sky TV’s live coverage starts at 7.00am.