All Blacks bring in Crotty for Ireland Test
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The All Blacks have made one change to their starting XV for the clash against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
Ryan Crotty comes in for the injured Sonny Bill Williams, with Anton Lienert-Brown coming into the run on reserves in the 23 jersey.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 14, 2018
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “This will be another great challenge for our squad and one that we’re all really looking forward to. These are the types of Test matches that gets everyone up – it’s number one versus number two – and there’s a real excitement that’s building as we get closer to Saturday.
“The earlier part of our week has been about getting our processes and clarity right, focussing on our core roles and the execution of our skills and then going out and training well.
“On Saturday we’ll be playing an opponent who will want to keep the ball for long periods of time, and if they aren’t getting what they want, then they’ll kick and try to pressure us.
“For us, we’ll need to be strong at set piece, both on our ball and theirs, and be prepared to work hard with or without the ball. When the momentum comes our way, we’ll need to take the opportunities that will come, as the team that makes the most of their opportunities will win the game.”
Steve Hansen added: “As always, we’ve been given a warm welcome by the Irish public and we look forward to playing our part in what will be a wonderful game at one of the great rugby stadiums.”
🎉 Congratulations to Aaron Smith who will become the most capped All Blacks halfback in history when he plays his 82 Test match this weekend.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 15, 2018
Meanwhile, it will be a significant match for three All Blacks.
Aaron Smith will play his 82nd Test match and become the most capped All Blacks scrumhalf in history, overtaking Justin Marshall, while Brodie Retallick and Samuel Whitelock will set a new record for an All Blacks starting lock partnership, starting in their 50th Test together.
“On behalf of the All Blacks, we want to congratulate Aaron, Brodie and Sam on their achievements,” Hansen said.
New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 19.00 (19.00 GMT; 08.00 NZ time Sunday, November 18)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England