The Ireland team to play New Zealand in the second Test of the summer tour has been named. The selected side shows four changes to the one that took to the pitch in Auckland last weekend.
Gordon D’Arcy starts at inside centre in place of Keith Earls, who was not considered for selection due to a chest injury that he picked up in the first Test defeat to the All Blacks.
D’Arcy’s selection reunites his centre partnership with Brian O’Driscoll as the Leinster duo line out as Ireland’s starting centres for the 48th time.
Elsewhere in the back-line, Andrew Trimble comes onto the left wing in place of Simon Zebo who is named in the replacements at the expense of Darren Cave.
Kevin McLaughlin, who came on in the second half of the tour opener, is named in the starting back row, with Peter O’Mahony swapping places to drop to the bench.
The fit-again Mike Ross comes back into the team in place of Declan Fitzpatrick at tighthead prop. Fitzpatrick will provide cover on the bench instead of Ronan Loughney.
Saturday’s match in Christchurch will mark Jamie Heaslip’s 50th Test appearance for Ireland. The Naas man is the 19th Irish forward to pass through the half century mark the last of which was hooker Rory Best against England last August.
Looking forward to the second game of the tour, Ireland head coach Declan Kidney said: “We took a heavy hit last Saturday night but we’re also long enough in it to realise if we get our parts right it closes up quite considerably.
“We took a good look at things on Monday with the players and saw where we went wrong so the focus this week will be 99% on ourselves, we need to get ourselves right and not be concentrating on the others.
“We know the turnovers, a few areas of the game like kick-offs, both for and against, we can improve in those two areas that will give us so much more ball, percentages of possession and territory…if we can start improving them, it’s a different game.”
All three New Zealand v Ireland Tests will kick off at 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time. Sky Sports will have live TV coverage of the games, while they will also be broadcast live on RTÉ Radio 1 (DAB, LW 252 and RTÉ.ie).
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v New Zealand, Steinlager Series, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, Saturday, June 16, kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time):
15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4 – Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster)
5 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
6 – Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
7 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
16 – Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
17 – Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster)
18 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
19 – Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
20 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 – Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)