Jump to main content



Ireland Team To Play New Zealand

Ireland Team To Play New Zealand

The Ireland team to play New Zealand in the third game of the GUINNESS Series shows 11 changes from the side that defeated Samoa 20-10 last weekend.

Rob Kearney has recovered from the knee injury he picked up against South Africa and comes back into the side at full-back, with Luke Fitzgerald moving to the left wing.

Gordon D’Arcy resumes his centre partnership with Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, and their Leinster colleagues Jonathan Sexton and Eoin Reddan have also been recalled to the starting line-up.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Up front, Tom Court switches to the tighthead prop with Cian Healy and Rory Best completing the front row.

Donncha O’Callaghan will be partnered by Mick O’Driscoll in the second row, while Stephen Ferris and David Wallace return to the back row alongside Jamie Heaslip.

With the team announcement delayed from Tuesday to Thursday, head coach Declan Kidney said: “There can be a slight tactical advantage in doing it (delaying selection), in that it gives the opposition less time to take a look at you.

“It’s similar to what New Zealand are doing, they kept it until Thursday. We’re into the third match of the series as well.”

On the process of the selection, he added: “We made a lot of changes for last week, we said we wanted to build a panel. And in building a panel, that’s never quite as easy as a theory of sure, throw a few names up in the air and see who comes down for it.

We looked at it individually, we looked at it collectively. By and large it’s pretty much the same team that went out against South Africa. Except, obviously Tom (Court) is in and gets his opportunity.

“Tony was ruled out in the subs. Donnacha (Ryan) is out, and Devin (Toner) comes in. That’s the whole idea being having a squad, so that you would have fellas to slot in and slot out.

“It was done on an individual basis, and you see how it looks collectively. Then you say they deserve another go, because you have to back guys and that’s what we’re doing.”

Ireland have played New Zealand on 23 previous occasions at Test level, drawing once and losing 22 times. There have been some near misses along the way and a difficult but not insurmountable task lays ahead at the Aviva Stadium this weekend.

“We know better than anybody else that our performances have been below what we’re capable of in the last two matches,” added Kidney.

“We know that we have to step up. When you’re taking on New Zealand, who are playing at the top of their game at the moment, we know that we have to be firing on all cylinders. We wouldn’t hide from those facts.

“Percentage wise, I wouldn’t try and say what we have to try and lift up, but we know that there’s an awful lot of things that have happened in the last two matches that are within our control and we’ve worked to fix them.”

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v New Zealand, 2010 GUINNESS Series, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, November 20, kick-off 5.30pm):

15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrcok College/Leinster)
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 – Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
6 – Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 – David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster) 


16 – Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
17 – John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)
18 – Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
19 – Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
20 – Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
21 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 – Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)