All Blacks change 1, Ireland 3 for showdown in Dublin
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland brought in lock Devin Toner and fit-again backs Rob Kearney and Garry Ringrose to play New Zealand on Saturday at Lansdowne Road.
Toner has swapped positions with Iain Henderson, who has gone to the reserves after starting in the 28-17 win over Argentina last Saturday.
Kearney has recovered from a shoulder injury after missing the wins over Italy and Argentina, and Ringrose was passed fit after a hip knock against Italy which put him out of the Argentina test.
Kearney replaced Jordan Larmour, who was in the reserves, and Ringrose’s return was timely for Robbie Henshaw, who injured a hamstring in the warmup before the Pumas game and was out of the squad altogether.
The All Blacks made only one injury-enforced change after beating England 16-15 last weekend,
Ryan Crotty rejoins his Crusaders partner Jack Goodhue in midfield after Sonny Bill Williams injured a shoulder against England.
Anton Lienert-Brown joined the reserves in Crotty’s place.
The All Blacks selectors resisted other changes, recognizing the challenge presented by Ireland. Matches between the teams have recently been close and hard-fought, and Ireland achieved its first test win over New Zealand in Chicago two years ago.
Liam Squire held his place on the blindside flank ahead of Scott Barrett, who made a strong impact from the bench last weekend.
Hooker Dane Coles will again start from the bench after his recent return from a one-year injury break.
“This will be another great challenge for our squad and one that we’re all really looking forward to,” coach Steve Hansen said. “These are the types of test matches that get everyone up — it’s No. 1 versus No. 2 — and there’s a real excitement that’s building.”
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Kieran Marmion; CJ Stander, Dan Leavy, Peter O’Mahony, James Ryan, Devin Toner, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (captain), Cian Healy. Reserves: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Iain Henderson, Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.
New Zealand: Damian McKenzie, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read (captain), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Karl Tu’inukuafe. Reserves: Dane Coles, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, T.J. Perenara, Richie Mo’unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.