The Ireland and New Zealand teams were announced earlier this evening for Saturday’s jolly in Chicago, the game at Soldier’s field kicking off at 20:00 UK/IRE. Live on BTSports 2.
Ulster’s Rory Best, Jared Payne and Andrew Trimble all start but unfortunately there is no room for Craig Gilroy. I’m also disappointed that Kieran Marmion, Joey Carberry and Garry Ringrose don’t start either though we are likely to see them get some match time with this game likely to be over early in the second half. 🙁
I was a big fan of Joe Schmidt when he first took over the Ireland coaching role but Ireland have been playing fairly poor rugby of late, if we discount a (very) small revival during the summer tour against an out of sorts South Africa.
As with Ulster, the team have generally looked over coached and overtrained, playing some very formulaic rugby and with his lack of experimentation for this game I expect this to be something similar, it’s just a question of when, not if, New Zealand run away with it.
The FRU Predicts: Hopefully there will be enough huff and puff from the Irish forwards to keep it competitive for the first hour at least but I suspect we’ll be seeing 18 straight wins for the All Blacks after this one.
|Rob Kearney||15||Ben Smith|
|Andrew Trimble||14||Waisake Naholo|
|Jared Payne||13||George Moala|
|Robbie Henshaw||12||Ryan Crotty|
|Simon Zebo||11||Julian Savea|
|Johnny Sexton||10||Beauden Barrett|
|Conor Murray||9||Aaron Smith|
|Jack McGrath||1||Joe Moody|
|Rory Best||2||Dane Coles|
|Tadhg Furlong||3||Owen Franks|
|Donnacha Ryan||4||Patrick Tuipulotu|
|Devin Toner||5||Jerome Kaino|
|CJ Stander||6||Liam Squire|
|Jordi Murphy||7||Sam Cane|
|Jamie Heaslip||8||Kieran Read|
|Sean Cronin||16||Codie Taylor|
|Cian Healy||17||Ofa Tu’ungafasi|
|Finlay Bealham||18||Charlie Faumuina|
|Ultan Dillane||19||Scott Barrett|
|Josh van der Flier||20||Ardie Savea|
|Kieran Marmion||21||TJ Perenara|
|Joey Carbery||22||Aaron Cruden|
|Garry Ringrose||23||Malakai Fekitoa|