Tuesday 24 October 2017

Murphy and All Blacks fly in

THE All Blacks settled into their Dublin hotel last night with coach Graham Henry suggesting that he will not be making too many changes to the side that dismantled Scotland 49-3, writes Hugh Farrelly.

"I think the objective of the tour is to build a team," said Henry. "I think we made some progress on Saturday and would like to continue that over the next two weeks. Building the team is the philosophy.

"It means we won't make too many changes. There might be one or two guys who need a bit of time on the paddock, so to speak, to freshen up. In some cases, it might be counterproductive to have guys play three games in a row: in others, it won't.

"The Tri Nations was a big goal for us after 2009 and I just wondered whether the edge was taken off because we had achieved such a big goal.

"I was very pleased on Saturday to see the edge is still there. Scotland were pretty rusty, we had two games, were ready to play well and they hadn't played for five months. Things were stacked in our favour. Ireland have played two Tests and will be ready to go."

Meanwhile, Geordan Murphy has joined up with the Ireland squad ahead of next Saturday's Test, while Keith Earls has been released to play with Munster against Australia tomorrow night. Earls will rejoin the Ireland camp on Wednesday night while Leinster's Isaac Boss is not in the 32-man squad named last night, with Peter Stringer and Eoin Reddan the only scrum-halves named.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has no major injury worries from last weekend's win over Samoa. Rob Kearney is expected to return to full training this week and Cian Healy is being monitored for a dead leg.

Ireland (squad v New Zealand ) -- Forwards: T Court, C Healy, B Wilkinson, R Best, S Cronin, J Hayes, M Ross, D O'Callaghan, D Ryan, M O'Driscoll, D Toner, S Ferris, J Muldoon, D Wallace, S O'Brien, J Heaslip, D Leamy. Backs: E Reddan, P Stringer, R O'Gara, J Sexton, A Trimble, L Fitzgerald, K Earls, G D'Arcy, P Wallace, B O'Driscoll, F McFadden, T Bowe, G Duffy, G Murphy, R Kearney.

Irish Independent

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