Thursday 27 July 2017

What channel, what time and what are the teams? - Everything you need to know about Ireland vs New Zealand in Dublin

Ireland players Tadhg Furlong and Ultan Dillane celebrate victory after the International rugby match between Ireland and New Zealand at Soldier Field
Ireland players Tadhg Furlong and Ultan Dillane celebrate victory after the International rugby match between Ireland and New Zealand at Soldier Field

Back-to-back wins over the mighty All Blacks is very rarely a target for any rugby nation - but that is exactly what Joe Schmidt's Ireland are aiming to do today at the Aviva Stadium (5.30pm).

Here is everything you need to know about today's match.

FORM GUIDE

New Zealand come to Dublin on the back of a comprehensive - and, of course, expected - victory over Italy and will be acutely aware that another defeat against Ireland will not be acceptable following the 40-29 loss in Chicago a fortnight ago.

Before that the All Blacks racked up 18 consecutive wins and Steve Hansen and his men will want to set the record straight and prove why this All Blacks team is mooted as one of the best the world has ever seen.

Ireland followed up that famous win in Soldier Field with a routine victory in Dublin over Canada with numerous new faces showing that there is a bright future for Irish rugby.

Ireland have gone through a trying period since their injury-ravaged side were upset by Argentina at the World Cup. A disappointing Six Nations campaign, which saw Ireland draw with Wales before losing to a poor French side and Eddie Jones' resurgent England, ended on a high note with commanding wins over Scotland and Italy.

That was just a warm-up for the tour of South Africa, with Ireland's 14-man victory in the first test ranking among the greatest in the nation's history. Despite losing the subsequent two matches, and the overall series, Schmidt's men proved they can match the best with the win over New Zealand two weeks ago.

IT'S A BIG GAME FOR...

Conor Murray: The Irish scrum-half, who has recently been described by no less a man as Brian O’Driscoll as the world’s best in his position, will go up against Aaron Smith, his challenger for that accolade. The 27-year-old gave a fantastic performance in Ireland’s win over the Kiwis two weeks ago, and a repeat showing will be needed from Murray if the Irish are to repeat that incredible victory.

WHERE IS IT ON?

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin is the place to be today.

WHAT TIMES DOES IT START?

Kick off is 5.30pm

WHAT CHANNEL IS IT ON?

Good news for all the armchair fans, this one is live on RTE2 with coverage starting at 4.30. For those readers abroad, all the action is on Sky Sports 2 and you can, of course, follow our live blog on Independent.ie.

WHAT ARE THE TEAMS?

IRELAND: 15. Rob Kearney, 14. Andrew Trimble, 13. Jared Payne, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. Simon Zebo, 10. Johnny Sexton, 9.  Conor Murray, 1. Jack McGrath, 2. Rory Best (capt), 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Donnacha Ryan, 5. Devin Toner, 6. CJ Stander, 7. Sean O’Brien, 8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, I Henderson, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Paddy Jackson, Garry Ringrose.

NEW ZEALAND: 15-Ben Smith, 14-Israel Dagg, 13-Malakai Fekitoa, 12-Anton Lienert-Brown, 11-Julian Savea, 10-Beauden Barrett, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Sam Cane, 6-Liam Squire, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Brodie Retallick, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Dane Coles, 1-Joe Moody

Replacements: 16-Codie Taylor, 17-Wyatt Crockett, 18-Charlie Faumuina, 19-Scott Barrett, 20-Ardie Savea, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Aaron Cruden, 23-Waisake Naholo

BEST STAT

Ireland’s stunning victory over New Zealand on 5th November in Chicago was their first win over the Kiwis in 29 attempts and 111 years. Ireland scored three tries before the break to lead 25-8. A strong and expected comeback from the Kiwis was counteracted by the Irish, who held on to end New Zealand’s astonishing winning streak at 18 matches.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

Despite beating New Zealand two weeks ago, Ireland are 7/1 outsiders with the All Blacks available at 1/6.

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Ireland 40 New Zealand 29, Autumn International, November 2016

New Zealand 24 Ireland 22, Autumn International, November 2013

New Zealand 60 Ireland 0, Ireland Tour of New Zealand, June 2012

FORM GUIDE:

Ireland: WWLLWW

New Zealand: WWWWLW

DO IRELAND HAVE A CHANCE?

Despite the return of big names for New Zealand, with home advantage Ireland have a great chance to create more history today.

VERDICT

Expect another brave performance from Joe Schmidt's team but the All Blacks are hurt. They will be at their very best today and that means it could be just beyond Ireland. New Zealand to win a tight game with about 10 points to spare.

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