THE STARTING XV features just the one change with loose forward Adam Thomson replacing the injured Victor Vito (knee) at blindside flanker, while his place on the bench has been taken by new cap Sam Cane.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said, despite last week’s first Test win over the Irish, there had still been a lot for the All Blacks to work on this week.
“Once again, for us it’s about our preparation, getting clarity early in the week and building in intensity so we can have a performance we can all be proud of on Saturday. We (the coaches) are expecting further improvements in our game due to the extra training and preparation time we have had together, along with having a game under our belt.
“We are also expecting Ireland to improve, as they are a nation with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude so what we did last time won’t be good enough.”
Commenting on the All Blacks return to Christchurch, Hansen said: “It’s great that Test footy has returned to Christchurch and the players are looking forward to playing in front of a sell-out crowd. The team, especially those of us from Christchurch, know that people have still been doing it tough so hopefully we can give them a performance on Saturday that puts a smile on their faces.”
New Zealand v Ireland
Saturday, 16 June 2012 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick:off – 08:35 BST
15. Israel Dagg, 14. Zac Guildford, 13. Conrad Smith, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Daniel Carter, 9. Aaron Smith, 1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Andrew Hore, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. Richie McCaw (C), 8. Kieran Read
16. Hikawera Elliot, 17. Ben Franks, 18. Ali Williams, 19. Sam Cane *, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Aaron Cruden, 22. Ben Smith
* denotes a new cap