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Retallick And Whitelock Return To New Zealand Team

Retallick And Whitelock Return To New Zealand Team

The New Zealand team to face Ireland in their Dublin rematch this Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm) shows five personnel changes to the side that lost 40-29 to Joe Schmidt’s men in Chicago.

In the forwards, the front row from the first Test against Ireland of props Joe Moody and Owen Franks and hooker Dane Coles, has been bolstered by the return of senior locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.

Captain Kieran Read returns at number 8, while last week’s skipper against Italy, Sam Cane, is alongside him in the number 7 jersey for his 40th Test. Regular blindside flanker Jerome Kaino has been ruled out with a mild calf strain, so Liam Squire will make his third start in eight Test appearances.

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Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett will start their eighth Test of 2016 as the All Blacks’ half-back pairing, while centres Anton Lienert-Brown and Malakai Fekitoa, who touched down twice in Rome, will play their second successive international together in midfield.

Ben Smith is at full-back and Israel Dagg on the right wing for what will be the 60th Test for both players, with Julian Savea in his regular left wing position. The replacements bench comprises of forwards Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett (in his third Test of the tour) and Ardie Savea, with TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden and Waisake Naholo selected as the reserve backs.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said: “As expected, there is huge excitement and anticipation within our squad ahead of this weekend’s Test against the Irish. While there was obvious disappointment at the loss in Chicago, disappointment doesn’t win Test matches – it’s about having great preparation and attitude, and delivering on the day.

“We know the challenge we face from Ireland will again be massive and we are going into the game as the underdogs. They’ll be full of confidence and committed to delivering on their home patch.

“So we will have to take a massive step up to get the performance we are looking for. It is a challenge that this team needs right now and how we respond will tell us a lot about ourselves. As I said, we are very much looking forward to Saturday.”

NEW ZEALAND Team & Replacements (v Ireland, 2016 GUINNESS Series, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, November 19, kick-off 5.30pm):

Player/Province/Club/Caps –

15. Ben Smith (Otago/Highlanders) 59
14. Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay/Crusaders) 59
13. Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland/Highlanders) 22
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato/Chiefs) 6
11. Julian Savea (Wellington/Hurricanes) 50
10. Beauden Barrett (Taranaki/Hurricanes) 47
9. Aaron Smith (Manawatu/Highlanders) 56
1. Joe Moody (Canterbury/Crusaders) 22
2. Dane Coles (Wellington/Hurricanes) 47
3. Owen Franks (Canterbury/Crusaders) 88
4. Brodie Retallick (Bay of Plenty/Chiefs) 58
5. Sam Whitelock (Canterbury/Crusaders) 82
6. Liam Squire (Tasman/Highlanders) 7
7. Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty/Chiefs) 39
8. Kieran Read (Canterbury/Crusaders) (capt) 95


16. Codie Taylor (Canterbury/Crusaders) 13
17. Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury/Crusaders) 56
18. Charlie Faumuina (Auckland/Blues) 44
19. Scott Barrett (Canterbury/Crusaders) 2
20. Ardie Savea (Wellington/Hurricanes) 10
21. TJ Perenara (Wellington/Hurricanes) 27
22. Aaron Cruden (Manawatu/Chiefs) 45
23. Waisake Naholo (Taranaki/Highlanders) 10