Ryan Crotty returns to starting lineup to haunt Ireland in Dublin
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.
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)
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