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Kidney offers second chance


Declan Kidney (right)

Declan Kidney (right)

Declan Kidney (right)

Declan Kidney has admitted his desire to give the team that lost to South Africa a chance at redemption compelled their recall against New Zealand.

Only hip injury victim Tony Buckley is missing from the line-up beaten 23-21 by the Springboks with Ulster's Tom Court starting at tighthead instead. In total, there are 11 changes following the 20-10 victory over Samoa at Aviva Stadium last weekend.

"We know our error count against South Africa and that's what we've been trying to rectify," said the head coach. "It's why we've gone with this team. The players deserve another go. Sometimes you must back players and that's what we're doing."

The biggest area of debate is at half-back where Leinster pair Jonathan Sexton and Eoin Reddan have been preferred ahead of Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer.

O'Gara changed the game when he came on in the last 15 minutes against South Africa, inspiring the late fightback that gave the scoreline some respectability

But Sexton stands flatter and when on form gives Ireland more threat in attack, crucial if there is to be any hope of humbling the All Blacks.

Stringer is unlucky to have been overlooked, however, after Reddan made several mistakes against the Springboks and Kidney explained his reasoning behind picking the younger scrum-half.

"Jonathan and Peter is a combination that hasn't had time yet, but there are lots of combinations I'd like to try," he said. "Unfortunately international rugby doesn't allow you to do a lot of experimentation. We've done some of it.

"Peter has 93 caps so I know what he brings to the table. Now it's time to find out new things."