Home team Away Team


  • Best, Kearney, Murray,
    Penalty goals: Sexton,
    Conversions: Sexton (2),
22 - 24

New Zealand

  • Franks, Crotty, Savea,
    Penalty goals: Cruden,
    Conversions: Cruden (3),
  • International Match
  • 24th Nov 2013
  • KO 14:00
  • Ground: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • Att: 51,000

Autumn international: Ireland v New Zealand preview

Last updated: 24th November 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Jonathan Sexton

Jonathan Sexton: Passed fit for Ireland

 Aaron Cruden New Zealand

Aaron Cruden: Replaces the injured Dan Carter at fly-half for the All Blacks

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World champions New Zealand take on Ireland in Dublin on Sunday with both sides aiming to make history.

The All Blacks are aiming to become the first international team in the professional era to complete a perfect season - 14 wins in 14 matches in 2013 - while Ireland have not beaten their opponents in 27 attempts dating back to 1905, with their best result against the New Zealanders a 10-10 draw in 1973.

There are two changes to the New Zealand back-line which started against England last week - Aaron Cruden replaces the injured Dan Carter at fly-half and winger Cory James comes in for Charles Piutau.

Coach Steve Hansen has drafted in a completely new front row comprising Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, and Andrew Hore, who is expected to retire from international rugby after what will be his 83rd Test. Prop Tony Woodcock is forced to miss the game because of injury.

Steven Luatua replaces Liam Messam as blindside flanker and lock Luke Romano steps in for Brodie Retallick.

On the bench, the highly-rated Hurricanes scrum-half TJ Perenara could make his debut if he comes on.

Hansen said: "It's a reflection of the physical nature of the whole year really, particularly the last nine weeks. We've gone around the world twice - this will be our seventh Test in nine weeks.

"We've had a big, physical game against Argentina, another physical performance in Johannesburg, a lot of running and chasing in Dunedin, then France was physical and England was physical.

"It's just an accumulation of a lot of travel and game time. We've got the ability sitting there that is fresh so why not use them?"

Sexton starts

For Ireland, fly-half Jonathan Sexton, who suffered a hamstring injury during last weekend's defeat to Australia, has been named in the starting line-up after taking a full part in training on Friday.

Coach Joe Schmidt has decided Sexton, Brian O'Driscoll (calf) and Rob Kearney (rib) are all fit to start in the Irish back-line at the Aviva Stadium.

Full-back Kearney will be joined in an Ireland starting line-up for the first time by brother Dave, who has been named on the wing in place of the injured Fergus McFadden following his two try debut against Samoa earlier this month.

Gordon D'Arcy replaces Luke Marshall at centre, while Conor Murray comes in for Eoin Reddan at scrum-half.

Ireland's pack is unchanged from the eight who started against Australia.

Schmidt said: "All three (Sexton, O'Driscoll and Kearney) took full part in training and Rob trained well on Wednesday.

"Really it was just a case of getting them all on the training pitch together, confirming they could run and kick fully and, therefore, play.

"If Johnny didn't take the pitch then Paddy Jackson would have started at 10. We would have had confidence in Paddy, but we've got confidence in Johnny with the leadership qualities and that tips the balance.

"Again it's coverage with Ian Madigan. If we get an injury to someone like D'Arcy it gives more flexibility.

"At this stage Paddy plays 10 and he doesn't play other positions. Gordon D'Arcy gives us the experience. Earlier in the week we weren't sure whether Johnny would make it, so it would have been important to have some experience around Paddy."

Ireland: R Kearney, Bowe, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, D Kearney, Sexton, Murray, Healy, Best, Ross, Toner, O'Connell, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Heaslip

Replacements: Cronin, McGrath, Fitzpatrick, McCarthy, McLaughlin, Boss, Madigan, Fitzgerald

New Zealand: Dagg, Jane, Smith, Nonu, Savea, Cruden, Smith, Crockett, Hore, Faumuina, Romano, Whitelock, Luatua, McCaw, Read

Replacements: Coles, B Franks, Franks, Retallick, Cane, Perenara, Barrett, Crotty

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