All Blacks get a big boost ahead of Ireland showdown
SQUAD UPDATE: The All Blacks received a big boost ahead of their World Cup quarterfinal against Ireland in Saint-Denis on Saturday.
On Tuesday, assistant coach Jason Ryan confirmed that prop Tyrel Lomax is on course to play a part in the match.
Lomax limped off the field during New Zealand’s 73-0 win over Uruguay in the World Cup Pool A match last Thursday.
The prop was replaced in the eighth minute by Fletcher Newell, who was also forced off late in the match.
“Yeah he’s [Lomax] trained really well today [Tuesday], got through what he needed to and definitely he will be considered for selection,” said Ryan.
Ryan added: “If you’re heading to a final, which this is, it’s important you have got the luxury of picking from a squad that is fully available which is what we want to be.
“Always going to get niggles but it’s great in this player’s point of view and in regards to Lowy [Lomax] it’s great he has got through today.
“We have a pretty high intensive training on Thursday so he’ll have to tick that off as well.”
Ireland and New Zealand have had different approaches to team selection throughout the tournament. The All Blacks have rotated their players quite a lot since their opener against France, while Ireland has stuck largely to their first team for all their pool games.
“We like to keep everyone hungry,” the All Black forwards coach explained. “I think it is important that everyone is competing in training and we have given everyone a crack in this World Cup.
“We are really clear on who our starting line-up is and it is full steam ahead for this final.
“This is where you want to be. It’s where the players want to be, in a final. It’s where you want to be as a coach and it’s where the All Blacks want to be.
“That is an opportunity we are looking forward to against the No.1 team in the world.”