Published: 10:45 | 17/10/19

Strong sides named for Ire-NZ clash

Both Ireland and New Zealand have named strong sides for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final clash in Tokyo (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 10.30am).

Joe Schmidt keeps faith with his most experienced players with Rob Kearney, Garry Ringrose and Peter O'Mahony the only changes from the team that beat Samoa in their final pool game a week ago.

Likewise, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named his strongest possible side.

Kearney replaces Jordan Larmour at full-back, Ringrose comes in for the suspended Bundee Aki and O’Mahony starts in place of fellow Munster man Tadgh Beirne.

Every member of the starting fifteen featured in either the 2016 or 2018 wins over the All Blacks.

Kearney, Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale form the back three, with Robbie Henshaw moved to inside centre alongside Ringrose at 13.

Half-backs Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton set a new Irish record as they play together for the 56th time, beating the previous record set by Peter Stringer and Ronan O’Gara.

The front five is unchanged from the Samoa game with Cian Healy, Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong in the front row with Iain Henderson and James Ryan combining in the second row. O’Mahony joins Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander in the back row.

Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne and Andrew Porter are named on the bench alongside Larmour, Beirne, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath and Joey Carbery.

Meanwhile, Steve Hansen has the luxury of a fully-fit squad and has named his strongest possible team for the game.

Brodie Retallick returns from a shoulder injury to replace Scott Barrett in the second row and Jack Goodhue replaces Ryan Crotty in just two changes to the side that started New Zealand’s first pool match against South Africa on September 21st.

Ireland team to face New Zealand: R Kearney, K Earls, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Stockdale; J Sexton, C Murray, C Healy, R Best (cap), T Furlong, I Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander. 

Replacements: N Scannell, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, T Beirne, R Ruddock, Luke McGrath, J Carbery, J Larmour.

New Zealand team: B Barrett, S Reece, J Goodhue, A Lienert-Brown, G Bridge, R Mo'unga, A Smith, J Moody, C Taylor, N Laulala, B Retallick, S Whitelock; A Savea, S Cane, K Read (cap). 

Replacements: D Coles, O Tuungaafsi, A Ta'avao, S Barrett, M Todd, TJ Perenara, SB Williams, J Barrett.

Image: INPHO

***See ALL FOUR RWC quarter-finals LIVE on eir sport 1 this weekend.

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