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Ireland Unchanged For Second Test

Ireland Unchanged For Second Test

The Irish management have named an unchanged team for Saturday’s second Test against New Zealand in Auckland (kick-off 8.35am Irish time).

…Brian O’Driscoll will captain Ireland for the 29th time in Auckland…

The Irish management have named an unchanged team for Saturday’s second Test against New Zealand in Auckland (kick-off 8.35am Irish time).

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There has been one vacancy left on the replacements bench due to doubts surrounding the fitness of full-back Geordan Murphy (Achilles tendon strain). The last place on the bench will not be finalised until Murphy’s status is confirmed.

At the team announcement, Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan said that his side need a major improvement in discipline for the second Test. Penalties ended up costing the men in green dearly on the scoreboard as New Zeland out-half Luke McAlister kicked five for the concession of 15 points.

O’Sullivan said: “It (The penalty count) undid us in the second half – but we were defending for long phases. Next week, we need to be more accurate and more urgent at the breakdown as well.”

Asked if his side can rise to the occasion again and put themselves in sight of an historic victory over the All Blacks, he added: “It all depends on us playing to our potential. If we get everything right, we can give any team a run.”

Team captain Brian O’Driscoll remains confident that the second Test will not echo back to previous tours to New Zealand where the Irish were comprehensively beaten in the final game after running the hosts close in the first game. The second Tests in 1992 and 2002 resulted in 59-6 and 40-8 wins for the Kiwis respectively.

“You have to be confident,” O’Driscoll acknowledged. “My only memory is of four years ago when we played well in the first Test in one of those narrow defeats and then let ourselves down in the second Test.

“The All Blacks certainly are going to be better than they were at the weekend as history has shown, and we’d like to think we’ll be better as well.”

IRELAND TEAM AND REPLACEMENTS (v New Zealand, Eden Park, Auckland, kick-off 8.35am, Saturday, June 17):

15 – Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers) 40 caps
14 – Shane Horgan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 46
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (Blackrock College/Leinster) (captain) 65
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 21
11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster) 7
10 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster) 61
9 – Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster) 67
1 – Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster) 38
2 – Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster) 7
3 – John Hayes (Bruff/Munster) 63
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 25
5 – Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) 34
6 – Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 3
7 – David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster) 28
8 – Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster) 12


16 – Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 3
17 – Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster) 0
18 – Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster) 5
19 – Keith Gleeson (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 24
20 – Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster) 0
21 – to be named
22 – Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster) 64

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Touch Judges: Matt Goddard, Brett Bowden (both Australia)

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