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Ireland team named to play the All Blacks

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named his side for the first test at Eden Park which includes 10 starters who beat the All Blacks 29-20 in Dublin last November.


Kiwi-born duo Jamison Gibson-Park and James Lowe, who were instrumental in last Autumn’s defeat of New Zealand, have been named to start at halfback and on the left wing retaining their positions from the last clash.

Gibson-Park will partner flyhalf Johnny Sexton in the halves, who will captain the side as they aim to make history at Eden Park on Saturday night.

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Ireland post-match press conference
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Ireland post-match press conference

British & Irish Lion Robbie Henshaw, one of the form players of the tour of South Africa but missed last November’s test, has been named to start at No 12 alongside Leinster teammate Garry Ringrose in the midfield.

Winger Keith Earls will back up Wednesday night’s game with a start on the right wing alongside fullback Hugo Keenan to round out the back three alongside Lowe.

Conor Murray, Joey Carberry and Bundee Aki feature on the bench to cover the backs, all three players featured on Wednesday night against the Maori All Blacks.

Up front Dan Sheehan replaces Ronan Kelleher at hooker to pack down alongside props Andrew Porter and Tadhg Furlong in the front row.


Cian Healy has been named on the bench in the 18 jersey despite concerns over a serious injury sustained against the Maori All Blacks, along with Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham.


In the second row, Tadhg Beirne will play at No 4 alongside James Ryan while the backrow of Peter O’Mahoney, Josh van der Flier and Caelen Doris rounds out a strong loose forward trio.

Lock Kieran Treadwell and No 8 Jack Conan have been named on the bench to cover lock and loose forward positions.


Andy Farrell was upbeat about his side despite disappointment over the 32-17 loss to the Maori All Blacks to open the tour on Wednesday night.

“Well the other 15 guys didn’t play and some of those guys that get to back up, whether it be on the bench or starting, they get another opportunity, don’t they?” he said in his post-match press conference.

“When you are disappointed coming away from a result that didn’t go your way, then all you want is another opportunity.

“There’s fifteen guys in the stands ready to train tomorrow. Of course, they’ll watch the game back and take some lessons from that.

“I’m sure that those boys feel for their teammates, and they’ll prepare properly and look forward [to Saturday].

“There’s nothing like sitting in a stand and watching a live game and actually knowing you’ve got a chance in three days.”

Ireland team to play the All Blacks:

15. Hugo Keenan
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (c)
9. Jamison Gibson Park

1. Andrew Porter
2. Dan Sheehan
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris


16. Dave Heffernan
17. Finlay Bealham
18. Cian Healy
19. Kieran Treadwell
20. Jack Conan
21. Conor Murray
22. Joey Carbery
23. Bundee Aki



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