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Three Newcomers In New Zealand Side

Three Newcomers In New Zealand Side

Second row Brodie Retallick and backs Julian Savea and Aaron Smith are the new faces in the New Zealand team to play Ireland in Saturday’s first Test at Eden Park (kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time).

In selecting the side, newly-appointed All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has gone for experience as well as the introduction of three new caps.

In the forwards, the hosts have an experienced front row of Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock and Owen Franks, while new cap Brodie Retallick will join Sam Whitelock in the second row.

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Victor Vito will don the number 6 jersey in the absence of the injured Jerome Kaino, and the back row is completed by captain Richie McCaw and Kieran Read.

In the backs, debutant scrum half Aaron Smith will have Daniel Carter outside him, while Sonny Bill Williams and Conrad Smith link up in the centre.

Zac Guildford and Test newcomer Julian Savea will fill the wing berths, with the 12-times capped Israel Dagg selected at full-back.

This is New Zealand’s first Test match since they beat France 8-7 to win the Rugby World Cup on home soil last October.

In all, the Hansen-led management team have made eight changes in personnel to that final-winning fifteen, with the returning Hore and Carter boosting the side’s caps tally by a considerable 147.

Commenting on the team selection, Hansen said: “We picked them (the new caps) in the squad because they have all shown that they have special qualities which they now get the opportunity to show on the international stage.

“The build-up so far this week has been good. With such a short preparation time, we have focused on keeping things simple and bringing the team together.

“We have been concentrating on making sure we have clarity early in the week, increasing intensity and accuracy as the week goes on, which should allow us to put in a performance that we can be proud of on Saturday.”

Ticket sales for the opening game of the series between New Zealand and Ireland have passed the 40,000 mark. Click here to further ticket details.

NEW ZEALAND Team & Replacements (v Ireland, Steinlager Series, Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday, June 9, kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time):

15 – Israel Dagg (Crusaders)
14 – Zac Guildford (Crusaders)
13 – Conrad Smith (Hurricanes)
12 – Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs)
11 – Julian Savea (Hurricanes)
10 – Dan Carter (Crusaders)
9 – Aaron Smith (Highlanders)
1 – Tony Woodcock (Blues)
2 – Andrew Hore (Highlanders)
3 – Owen Franks (Crusaders)
4 – Brodie Retallick (Chiefs)
5 – Sam Whitelock (Crusaders)
6 – Victor Vito (Hurricanes)
7 – Richie McCaw (Crusaders) (capt)
8 – Kieran Read (Crusaders)


16 – Hikawera Elliot (Chiefs)
17 – Ben Franks (Crusaders)
18 – Ali Williams (Blues)
19 – Adam Thomson (Highlanders)
20 – Piri Weepu (Blues)
21 – Aaron Cruden (Chiefs)
22 – Ben Smith (Highlanders)

Related Links –

Irish Rugby TV: Sean Fitzpatrick

Irish Rugby TV: Alan Quinlan

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