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2013 hero Ryan Crotty included as All Blacks name side to face Ireland



Talking up: Ryan Crotty has a lot of respect for Ireland

Talking up: Ryan Crotty has a lot of respect for Ireland

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Talking up: Ryan Crotty has a lot of respect for Ireland

Centre Ryan Crotty, who scored a last-gasp try to deny Ireland victory over the All Blacks in Dublin in 2013, is the only change to the New Zealand side that will line out at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Head coach Steve Hansen has kept faith with the side that started at Twickenham against England last weekend, and won 16-15, with the only switch an injury-enforced one that sees Crotty come in for Sonny Bill Williams at inside centre.

Ireland fans will remember the Crusaders second five-eighth all too well, the 30-year old scoring an outrageous try long after the clock passed 80 minutes at the Aviva Stadium five years ago in an agonising 24-22 loss.

With only one change, that means there's no place for former Royal School Dungannon attendee Angus Ta'avao, who will be hoping to be named as 24th man for Saturday's eagerly awaited Test match (kick-off 7pm).

Despite his errors under the high ball against England, fleet-footed full-back Damian McKenzie retains the jersey with Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane completing the back three, while Crotty is joined by exciting young Crusaders team-mate Jack Goodhue in the centre.

Scrum-half Aaron Smith makes his 82nd appearance for the All Blacks, overtaking Justin Marshall as the most-capped New Zealander at No.9, and he's joined by the ever-reliable Beauden Barrett at fly-half.

The front row of Karl Tu'inukuafe, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks continues, while it'll be the 50th time that Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock have taken to the pitch together as a second row pairing for their country.

Skipper Kieran Read is the stand-out name in a world-class back row that also includes Liam Squire on the blindside and Ardie Savea at openside.

The bench, as always, packs a considerable punch for the second half, with long-time veteran Dane Coles joined by Ofa Tuungafasi and Nepo Laulala as the front row replacements, while Scott Barrett and Matt Todd provide cover for the back five of the scrum.

TJ Perenara is the replacement scrum-half, while Crusaders fly-half Richie Mo'unga and Chiefs centre Anton Lienert-Brown are the other two backs replacements.

Ireland are due to announce their team for the match later today.


(15-9) Damian McKenzie; Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; (1-8) Karl Tu'inukuafe, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks; Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock; Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, Kieran Read (captain).

Replacements (16-23): Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo'unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

Belfast Telegraph