Ireland have to be 'on the money' against All Blacks

Ireland have to be 'on the money' against All Blacks

Saturday will be the fourth meeting between the two nations during the Schmidt era - the All Blacks lead the head-to-head 2-1 - and every minute of the previous three encounters has been burned into the memory of the Ireland coach.

"The ball went out of touch but it was thrown back in quickly so I think the ball was in play for over four minutes and 22 seconds", recalls flanker Chris Henry. I know the feedback we got was there were some that were unnecessary.

Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll and All Blacks legend Tana Umaga met ahead of Ireland vs New Zealand this Saturday and they had some very interesting insights into the big match.

"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".

"There's a lot of nervousness surrounding it I think because of that so that breathes into anticipation and excitement and everyone's looking forward to it but there is vulnerabilities there from our point of view".

His All Blacks counterpart Kieran Read said the Irish lineout should be judged on how it performed throughout the year, not on their display against the Pumas.

"New Zealand are renowned for the style of rugby they play, and one to 15 they can all play and put people into space and through holes", said Best. That's the sort of thing that they've delivered a number of times. They are going to play to their potential and it is just unfortunate that Ireland are going to get them at the wrong time'.

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Devin Toner comes in for Iain Henderson, partnering James Ryan in the second row, with skipper Rory Best, Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong continuing in front of them.

"That is the issue that you've to deal with when you're playing New Zealand but that has continued on".

"There's some tough decisions in there; there's some very good players that we've left out; there's some players who've played well in the first two games and unfortunately don't get an opportunity, but you can only name the 23 players". I haven't got tickets, so I can't give you tickets.

"Well, you've got to be confident when you've had the success that this team has had".

Scrum-half Conor Murray was ruled out of the game as he recovers from a neck injury, and Fitzgerald thinks that his absence will be critical.

'There is a little bit of hope for Ireland as they are playing the All Blacks in Dublin. Murray is going to be a big loss. "How many times do they get a 50/50 call in their favour when clearly they shouldn't?"

Kearney, one of the game's best defenders under a high ball, returns at full-back in place of 21-year-old Jordan Larmour, who drops back to the bench after struggling under a barrage of towering Argentinean kicks last week.

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