Dan Carter and Richie McCaw are back in the New Zealand starting lineup for Saturday’s rugby union international against Ireland at Croke Park as the All Blacks named a full-strength team.
Coach Graham Henry fielded many of his backup players for the 32-6 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday, when his two biggest stars came off the bench in the second half, but sees the game against the Irish as a tougher test.
“The Irish showed passion and physicality when they played us in New Zealand earlier in the year and we are expecting another tough test match,” Henry said Tuesday in reference to his team’s 21-11 victory in Wellington in June.
Among other changes are the return of Mils Muliaina at fullback, Conrad Smith at outside center, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Jimmy Cowan at scrumhalf.
In the pack, only hooker Keven Mealamu and second row Ali Williams remain from the starting lineup against Scotland.
— Lineup: Mils Muliaina, Joe Rokocoko, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Dan Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Neemia Tialata, Brad Thorn, Ali Williams, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (captain), Rodney So’oialo.
Reserves: Corey Flynn, John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Kieran Read, Piri Weepu, Stephen Donald, Isaia Toeava.