There are just 80 minutes left in Ireland’s international season and although the series is beyond their reach, Declan Kidney’s men are in good stead as they try again to beat New Zealand for the first time. You can keep up-to-date with the third Test via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.
Given the bruising nature of last weekend’s clash in Christchurch, it is no surprise that both Declan Kidney and Steve Hansen have had to make enforced changes to their teams for the third and final Test.
For Ireland’s last match of a 17-Test season, Paddy Wallace replaces the injured Gordon D’Arcy at inside centre and Keith Earls has been preferred to Andrew Trimble on the left wing.
The injured Jamie Heaslip, who has played 15 times for Ireland since last August, will miss the game in Hamilton with Peter O’Mahony taking over from him at number 8.
Hamstring injury victim Dan Carter, New Zealand’s match-winning hero last time out, is their most notable absentee for the series finale.
Aaron Cruden steps into Carter’s boots at out-half and there are five more changes with Hosea Gear and Ben Smith added to the back-line and debutant Luke Romano will start in the second row.
Their rejigged back row includes first-time starter Sam Cane and Liam Messam, with talismanic captain Richie McCaw moving to number 8.
Today’s clash at Waikato Stadium is the 27th Test match between Ireland and New Zealand. The Kiwis have dominated down through the years, winning on 25 occasions with just one draw (10-10 at Lansdowne Road in 1973).
The agonising 22-19 defeat in the second Test matched Ireland’s best ever result against the All Blacks on New Zealand soil. In Dunedin back in 1992, the hosts needed a Frank Bunce try to edge their way to a narrow 24-21 win.
We will have live text commentary direct from Hamilton as the Brian O’Driscoll-captained tourists look to record Ireland’s long-awaited first ever victory over the All Blacks.
Plug in your laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of the second Test live on IrishRugby.ie. There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage, with the game kicking off at 7.35pm New Zealand time/8.35am Irish time.
You can watch live TV coverage of the match on Sky Sports 1. Michael Corcoran will also be providing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1 (DAB, LW 252 and RTÉ.ie), with their coverage beginning shortly before kick-off.
Starting at 8am Irish time with our pre-match build-up, you can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live.
Look out for the MatchDay Live button in the Ireland section or simply click on the link below: