Ireland team to play New Zealand in 1st Test

Declan Kidney has picked three uncapped players for the 1st Test with New Zealand in Auckland, with Simon Zebo and Declan Fitzpatrick both starting and Ronan Loughrey on the bench. Keith Earls faces the unenviable task of stopping Sonny Bill Williams at inside centre, with Dan Tuohy and Donnacha Ryan forming a new look second row partnership. Brian O’Driscoll captains the side.

15. Rob Kearney, 14. Fergus McFadden, 13. Brian O’Driscoll (c), 12. Keith Earls, 11. Simon Zebo, 10. Jonathan Sexton, 9. Conor Murray; 1. Cian Healy, 2. Rory Best, 3. Declan Fitzpatrick, 4. Dan Tuohy, 5. Donnacha Ryan, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Sean O’Brien, 8. Jamie Heaslip


16. Sean Cronin, 17. Ronan Loughrey, 18. Donnacha O’Callaghan, 19. Kevin McLaughlin, 20. Eoin Reddan, 21. Ronan O’Gara, 22. Darren Cave

5 thoughts on “Ireland team to play New Zealand in 1st Test

  1. Why could kidney not of done
    this in the 6 Nations trying new players instead of sticking with darcy and o callaghan

  2. How long would it take Kidney to realise that Murray and Sexton are not a combination and what on earth is ankle on socks Zebo doing in the team? Where is Toner and Maddigan, or should they start playing for Munster to get in Kidney’s team?

    I think its now time to let Kidney go and get a coach that know something about picking a team and have a gameplan.

    If ireland cant win any games against NewZealand, Kidney just must go. Dont think he worry much to win, as he gets paid for aslong as he got his contract.

    1. this is the best second row combination available! tonner is improving but not as good as either starters. I agree with murray wish dave kearny was on the squad would be a threat in attack, mc fadden is a centre and sound on the wing defensively but doesn’t light the world on fire where as dave could, and they all know kearney so his bro would earn respect too. zebo is picked…. i would started with cave in centre earls 11 or the team thats out with fitz instead of zebo or gilroy deccie saying zebo proved him self against ba bas did he not notice gilroy?????

  3. Kidney to go if Ireland don’t win a test against the all blacks? Realistically Kidney will stay no matter what happens in New Zealand. No one is expecting the Irish to be able to contain the firepower the all blacks have, or to have enough themselves to pressure the kiwis. One win in this series would be a major step forward for the Irish team. Especially if Cave gets a chance to earn some game time.
    The Irish do have an advantage in that no one expects them to win any of the tests so they are under no pressure, the all blacks on the other hand, have a public which demands and expects results from them. Still don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.

  4. It’s honestly the most in-form backline we’ve ever had. I rate it, really! It’s just it’s the AB’s… I’d like to have seen it unleashed against Australia or France or the Saffas. But the AB’s, who knows??

    It’s nice reading though. Every one of our backs is dangerous, not just filler. We always had filler before, but….it’s the AB’s!!

    And I think it’s the perfect time to test their metal – what bigger test lol! Expectations are zero anyway!

    It’s our forwards I worry about, but we’ll see. Maybe the reverse could somehow undo us, or both!

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