Sam Whitelock lifts the lid on how All Blacks can beat Ireland
New Zealand captain Sam Whitelock says his team have plenty left in the tank as they renew their rivalry with Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
The All Blacks are winding down their international season but Whitelock says the players are raring to go for the sold-out Lansdowne Road clash.
Ireland have won two of their last four tests against the All Blacks since breaking their 111-year drought in 2016 and Whitelock said it was a contest New Zealand looked forward to.
“This week is massive,” Whitelock told reporters on Friday.
“If you look back over the last five or six times we’ve played Ireland, they are big games and big occasions.
“Especially here (in Dublin), it’s an amazing atmosphere that is hard to describe.
“Great teams get up and play well, and we will never be disappointed with what the Irish bring.
“We also don’t want to disappoint them and so must put our best foot forward.”
Whitelock praised the Kiwi coaching staff’s squad rotation for keeping the players fresh.
“It’s nice seeing the energy of the boys,” the veteran lock said.
“The squad in general is in a good spot and we’ve had some great training this week.
“Management have done a great job of holding some players back and managing when they play.
Whitelock is expecting Ireland will have a few tricks up their sleeves and said the All Blacks would have to react quickly.
While New Zealand’s attack has been on fire they have only conceded three tries in three games, and only one in the first half.
“We do talk about it. We ask; ‘If we were playing us, what would we do?’
“That is part of the sport that our senior players and management love, the whole chess game of international rugby.
“(If Ireland come with something different) we have to have things in our head straight away that will hopefully put us on the front foot.”
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