All Blacks change five for second Ireland test

10:30 AM GMT

Steve Hansen has made five changes to the All Blacks side that lost to Ireland in Chicago ahead of the sides’ second Test this autumn in Dublin on Saturday.

In the back-line, Israel Dagg is set to start his 60th Test, as is Ben Smith at full-back. Dagg comes in on the right wing in place of Waisake Naholo. Having formed the starting midfield partnership last week against Italy, Malakai Fekitoa and Anton Lienert-Brown start in midfield, having formed the midfield partnership in Italy last week. Up front, Brodie Retallick and Samuel Whitelock start in the second-row with Jerome Kaino and Patrick Tuipulot missing out.

“As expected, there is huge excitement and anticipation within our squad ahead of this weekend’s Test against the Irish,” said All Blacks’ head coach Steve Hansen. “While there was obvious disappointment at the loss in Chicago, disappointment doesn’t win Test matches – it’s about having great preparation and attitude, and delivering on the day.

“We know the challenge we face from Ireland will again be massive and we are going into the game as the underdogs. They’ll be full of confidence and committed to delivering on their home patch.

“So we will have to take a massive step up, to get the performance we are looking for. It is a challenge that this team needs right now and how we respond will tell us a lot about ourselves. As I said, we are very much looking forward to Saturday.”

New Zealand team to face Ireland

Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Malakai Fekitoa, Anton Lienert-Brown, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read

Replacements: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Waisake Naholo.

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