17 Nov 2016

All Blacks gain top locks but lose Kaino for Ireland rematch

5:19 pm on 17 November 2016

The All Blacks have regained their two first choice locks for this weekend's rematch with Ireland in Dublin though they've lost regular blindside Jerome Kaino to injury.

Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock rejoin the All Black forward pack for the second test against Ireland.

Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock rejoin the All Black forward pack for the second test against Ireland. Photo: Photosport

The selectors have made five changes to the starting XV that lost to the Irish in Chicago two weeks ago.

In the forwards, the starting front row from the first test against Ireland has been retained with props Joe Moody and Owen Franks joining hooker Dane Coles.

The tight five has been bolstered by the return of senior locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, with Scott Barrett named in the reserves.

There's no place in the matchday 23 for lock Patrick Tuipolotu, who started the last two tests against Ireland and Italy.

In the loose forwards, captain Kieran Read is at No.8, while last week's captain against Italy, Sam Cane, is alongside him in the openside jersey for his 40th test.

Regular blindside Kaino has been ruled out with a mild calf strain, so Liam Squire will make his third start in his eighth test, in the number six jersey.

In the backs, halfback Aaron Smith and first five-eighth Beauden Barrett will start their eighth test of 2016 as the starting inside pairing, while second five-eighth Anton Lienert-Brown and centre Malakai Fekitoa will play their second consecutive test in the midfield.

In the outside backs, Ben Smith is at fullback and Israel Dagg on the right wing in what will be the 60th test for both players, while Julian Savea regains the left wing jersey, with Waisake Naholo dropping to the bench.

The replacements bench is hooker Codie Taylor and props Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina, lock Barrett in his third test of the Tour, loose forward Ardie Savea, halfback TJ Perenara, first five-eighth Aaron Cruden and outside back Naholo.

Coach Steve Hansen said the team is champing at the bit to atone for their loss in America in Sunday morning's (NZ time) test in Dublin.

"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."

Hansen also tried to claim the underdog status for the test, despite the All Blacks being heavy favourites with pundits and the bookies.

"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," Hansen said.

All Blacks team for Dublin Test against Ireland, with test caps in brackets.

1. Joe Moody (22)

2. Dane Coles (47)

3. Owen Franks (88)

4. Brodie Retallick (58)

5. Samuel Whitelock (82)

6. Liam Squire (7)

7. Sam Cane (39)

8. Kieran Read - captain (95)

9. Aaron Smith (56)

10. Beauden Barrett (47)

11. Julian Savea (50)

12. Anton Lienert-Brown (6)

13. Malakai Fekitoa (22)

14. Israel Dagg (59)

15. Ben Smith (59)

16. Codie Taylor (13)

17. Wyatt Crockett (56)

18. Charlie Faumuina (44)

19. Scott Barrett (2)

20. Ardie Savea (10)

21. TJ Perenara (27)

22. Aaron Cruden (45)

23. Waisake Naholo (10)


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