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Kearney calls for spirit that beat Wallabies

ROB Kearney says Ireland will call upon the spirit that saw them defeat Australia at the World Cup when they face New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Irish will return to the ground where they defeated the Wallabies 15-9 last September for the first of three Test matches.

The Leinster full-back said: “(Saturday) is our best chance because it is our next chance. And if the first Test doesn’t go our way then the one after that will be our best chance again.”

Kearney, who won the European Player of the Year award after an impressive season, is looking forward to the encounter.

He said: “It was a huge occasion for us to turn over Australia in a World Cup.

“As players, we always believe that we can match it with the best teams in the world when we turn up and we play good rugby. As a player and as a team, you have to believe that.

“There wasn’t a huge element of surprise for us (afterwards) as a group of players. What’s important for us is that we keep trying to reproduce that form.

“We set a bar there in that game, a standard, and it is important for us to keep matching that.”