Ireland and New Zealand name starting teams for first test on Saturday morning, kick off is 8:05 Irish time.
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has today (Thursday) announced the Ireland side that will take to the field at Eden Park in Auckland in the first Test of the three Test Series against New Zealand.
Johnny Sexton captains the side and is partnered at half-back by Jamison Gibson Park. Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose line out in the centre with James Lowe and Keith Earls on the wings with Hugo Keenan at fullback.
Upfront Andrew Porter returns to the side having missed the final two games of this year’s Six Nations through injury. He will pack down alongside Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong with Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan at lock.
Peter O’Mahony will fill the blindside flanker berth with Josh van der Flier at openside and Caelan Doris at No.8.
The replacements are Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Cian Healy, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery and Bundee Aki.
New Zealand v IRELAND
Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday 2nd July, 2022, KO: 8.05am Irish Time
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 20 caps
14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 96 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 42 caps
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 57 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 12 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 105 caps CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 17 caps
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 43 caps
2. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 7 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 57 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 30 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 43 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 84 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 17 caps
16. Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 6 caps
17. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 23 caps
18. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 116 caps
19. Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 5 caps
20. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 27 caps
21. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 96 caps
22. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 32 caps
23. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 37 caps
Head Coach Ian Foster said the selectors were excited to name the first All Blacks test team for 2022.
“This is doubly exciting for us playing at a packed Eden Park for our first test of the year, leading into a sold out Steinlager series.”
“After what seems like a long time away from home, it couldn’t be scripted better to be back in front of our fans for this match.”
“Whilst this week hasn’t exactly gone to plan for us, our overall preparation has gone really well.”
In selecting this team, Foster said they’ve had to take into account managing players coming from the Super Rugby Pacific series.
“We’ve prepared rigorously for this match, albeit only having a ten day period together.”
“We have huge respect for this Irish team and can’t wait to run out onto a packed Eden Park on Saturday to kick off the 2022 Steinlager series.”
The team sees George Bower named as loosehead prop, with Ofa Tu’ungafasi on the other side of the scrum.
Scott Barrett wears the number 6 jersey with Captain Sam Cane at 7 and Ardie Savea at the back of the scrum. Debutant Leicester Fainga’anuku gets his first start in the number 11 jersey with fellow Crusader Sevu Reece on the right wing. After getting called up as cover due to Covid affecting players, Braydon Ennor comes into the 23, and debutant Pita Gus Sowakula is also named in the 23, to potentially get his first cap as an All Black.
Named to play his 133rd All Blacks Test Sam Whitelock surpasses Keven Mealamu as the second most-capped All Black Test player of all time (behind Richie McCaw), in what is his 12th season with the team.
There is an incredibly rich history between the two teams which first met in 1905. Saturday will mark the 34th Test between the All Blacks and Ireland but just the fourth played at Eden Park.
Aaron Smith, Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are the three current All Blacks who played Ireland when they last visited Eden Park in 2012.