All Blacks makes seven changes for showdown with Ireland as history beckons

22 November 2013 13:05

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All Blacks makes seven changes for showdown with Ireland as history beckons

The strong side features two injury-enforced changes and five personnel switches from the team that beat England last weekend at Twickenham.

Cory Jane also returns to the XV, replacing Charles Piutau, while in the forwards, lock Luke Romano starts, with Brodie Retallick on the bench; Steven Luatua is at blindside with Sam Cane coming onto the bench to cover the back-row; and Andrew Hore takes Keven Mealamu's place at hooker.

"This Test against the Irish is another great opportunity for the team to put in a performance we can all be proud of," said head coach Steve Hansen ahead of Sunday's international.

"Though we have won the last two Tests on the Air New Zealand European Tour (against France and England), we would like to see an improvement on those two performances.

"We love playing in Ireland and have a lot of respect for the Irish. We well remember the second Test against them in Christchurch last year (when the All Blacks just won 22-19) and we know that if our minds aren't totally on the job in our preparation this week and in the game on Sunday, then we will suffer."

New Zealand team to face Ireland: (15-9) Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ben Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith;(8-1) Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Steven Luatua, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Charlie Faumuina, Andrew Hore, Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: (16-23) Dane Coles, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty.


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