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Thomson To Start For New Zealand

Thomson To Start For New Zealand

The New Zealand team to play Ireland in the second Test shows just one change with Adam Thomson taking over from injured Victor Vito at blindside flanker.

Victor Vito has been sidelined by a medial knee ligament injury which he picked up in last Saturday’s 42-10 victory over Ireland at Eden Park.

Adam Thomson, who replaced Vito in the second half of that game, will don the number 6 jersey this time around with newcomer Sam Cane standying by to make his Test debut off the bench.

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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said that despite the first Test win over Ireland, there had still been a lot for the All Blacks to work on this week.

“Once again for us it’s about our preparation, getting clarity early in the week and building in intensity so we can have a performance we can all be proud of on Saturday,” he said.

“We (the coaches) are expecting further improvements in our game due to the extra training and preparation time we have had together, along with having a game under our belt.

“We are also expecting Ireland to improve, as they are a nation with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude, so what we did last time won’t be good enough.”

Commenting on the All Blacks’ return to Christchurch, Hansen added: “It’s great that Test footy has returned to Christchurch and the players are looking forward to playing in front of a sell-out crowd.

“The team, especially those of us from Christchurch, know that people have still been doing it tough so hopefully we can give them a performance on Saturday that puts a smile on their faces.”

NEW ZEALAND Team & Replacements (v Ireland, Steinlager Series, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, Saturday, June 16, 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 – Adam Thomson (Highlanders)
7 – Richie McCaw (Crusaders) (capt)
8 – Kieran Read (Crusaders)


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