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Rugby World Cup: Joe Schmidt banks on big guns for New Zealand clash

 

Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster hooker Rob Herring has joined up with Ireland's World Cup squad as a late call-up but it will be Joe Schmidt's tried and trusted handed the task of facing the All Blacks in the quarter-finals on Saturday (11.15am).

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Herring last played for Ireland in an August warm-up against Italy, suffering an unfortunate back injury that limited his chances of making the initial 31-man squad but has been summoned to Japan after Sean Cronin injured his neck in training.

The Cape Town native, who made his debut against Argentina in 2014, is the second player from Dan McFarland's squad to get the SOS from Japan, following back-rower Jordi Murphy who replaced Jack Conan in the squad last month.

The side confirmed by Schmidt this morning will be viewed by many as first choice XV.

Despite a man of the match performance last time out against Samoa, there is no room for Jordan Larmour with Rob Kearney preferred at full-back and Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale on the the wings.

With Bundee Aki suspended, Garry Ringrose comes straight back alongside Robbie Henshaw, while it is the usual half-back pairing of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton. Rhys Ruddock, man of the match against Russia, has not dislodged any of the back-row trio that began the World Cup - Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander - while, at this stage, the tight five picks itself.

Rory Best leads the side from hooker, packing down with Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong either side of him with Iain Henderson and James Ryan in the engine room.

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Ireland team to face New Zealand: R Kearney; K Earls, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Stockdale; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best (capt), T Furlong; I Henderson, James Ryan; Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander. Reps: N Scannell, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, T Beirne, R Ruddock, Luke McGrath, J Carbery, J Larmour.

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