Friday 20 October 2017

Zebo and Tuohy in as Ireland 'go for it'

Hugh Farrelly

DECLAN KIDNEY says Ireland are ready to "go for it" against the All Blacks on Saturday following the boldest selection of his four-year reign as coach.

Kidney has sprung some major surprises, opting for youth over experience by picking Keith Earls, new cap Simon Zebo and Dan Tuohy ahead of Gordon D'Arcy, Andrew Trimble and Donncha O'Callaghan respectively -- and he is backing to his men to be inspired by the quality of opposition.

Ireland are banking on Mike Ross recovering from his hamstring injury -- otherwise, Declan Fitzpatrick will come in at tighthead.

Peter O'Mahony will start in the No 6 jersey, with Kidney confirming there is scope to mix and match in the second-row, back-row and midfield, saying "we will see what happens" when asked about the prospect of Brian O'Driscoll slotting into No 12.

The All Blacks have named three new caps -- scrum-half Aaron Smith, second-row Brodie Retallick and winger Julian Savea.

New Zealand -- I Dagg; Z Guildford, C Smith, S B Williams, J Savea; D Carter, A Smith; T Woodcock, A Hore, O Franks; B Retallick, S Whitelock; V Vito, R McCaw (capt), K Read. Reps: H Elliott, B Franks, A Williams, A Thomson, P Weepu, A Cruden, B Smith.

IRELAND -- R Kearney; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll (capt), K Earls, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross*; D Tuohy, D Ryan; P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Heaslip. Reps: S Cronin, D Fitzpatrick, D O'Callaghan, K McLaughlin, E Reddan, R O'Gara, D Cave.

Irish Independent

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