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Andrew Trimble braced for New Zealand 'black-lash'

By David Kelly

Andrew Trimble is expecting a "black-lash" from World champions New Zealand when they arrive in Dublin next week gunning for revenge after last Saturday's first defeat in 111 years against the Irish.

And the Ulster wing claims that Ireland can only back up their historic Chicago achievement by producing an even better performance in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week.

"It is possible," insisted Trimble after the Irish squad touched down in their Carton House base yesterday ahead of Saturday's clash with Canada.

"Of course it's possible. If you'd asked the question this time last week was it possible to beat the All Blacks, a lot of people would have said no.

"We proved that it is possible so if it is possible to do it once then it is possible to do it again.

"It is a massive challenge to get our heads around but it is possible.

"It's important at this level when you are playing the best teams in the world, that you come off the pitch and take something from it. You have to become a better side.

"There were mistakes on Saturday and there's definitely things we can get better at. And we have to get better because New Zealand will get better too."

Jordi Murphy, though, will not play any part after team manager Mick Kearney confirmed that the Leinster flanker, who scored the opening try in the stunning Soldier Field coup, ruptured his left ACL and will miss between six and nine months of action.

Jonathan Sexton will be fit, while Ulster out-half Paddy Jackson has returned to the squad.

A number of debutants are possible this weekend, among them Connacht and Munster flyers Niyi Adelokun and Darren Sweetnam, along with Leinster flanker Dan Leavy and his Munster back row counterpart Jack O'Donoghue.

With much of the Chicago contingent expected to be rested, Munster prop Dave Kilcoyne and Connacht's Tiernan O'Halloran, may also feature having also been added to the squad.

Elsewhere, Jamie Heaslip was announced as a nominee for World Rugby Player of the Year.

Heaslip, who lost out to Richie McCaw in 2009, joins Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Dane Coles (New Zealand), Owen Farrell (England), Maro Itoje (England) and Billy Vunipola (England) on the list, with the winner chosen in London next Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph


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