All Blacks hope to begin a new era
THERE will be a new coach in charge and a smattering of new faces when New Zealand play Ireland in their first Test since last year’s Rugby World Cup final.
Talk of a new era for New Zealand rugby, though, might be overstated. New head coach Steve Hansen spent almost eight years as an assistant to World Cup-winner Graham Henry and, while he may hope eventually to place his hallmark on the All Blacks, he is unlikely to depart suddenly from the style or methods that led to Cup victory.
Richie McCaw will play his 104th Test and Dan Carter will play his 86th test and his 71st at fly-half, making him the most-capped All Black in that position.
Ireland’s forward strength has been slightly reduced by the loss of tighthead prop Mike Ross to an injured hamstring. His replacement, Declan Fitzpatrick is one of two new caps in the Ireland squad, along with winger Simon Zebo. Centre Brian O’Driscoll returns to lead the team.
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. Subs: H Elliott, B Franks, A Williams, A Thomson, P Weepu, A Cruden, B Smith.
Ireland: R Kearney (Leinster); F McFadden (Leinster), B O’Driscoll (Leinster, capt), K Earls (Munster), S Zebo (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), D Tuohy (Ulster), D Ryan (Munster), P O’Mahony (Munster), S O’Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster). Subs: S Cronin (Leinster), R Loughney (Connacht), D O’Callaghan (Munster), K McLaughlin (Leinster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O’Gara (Munster), D Cave (Ulster).
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
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Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
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