How the kicking game will decide Ireland vs New Zealand

Ireland Team Named For New Zealand Match

He is more understated about the significance of Saturday's game, but recognises victories over New Zealand are rare for any team.

"We're going to need the best performance of our season the way the Irish have been playing", Read said.

"I think Bundee has probably demonstrated through the last year, he made his debut against South Africa last year in this particular section of the year".

Dan Leavy, who replaced the injured Sean O'Brien during the first half against Argentina, will don the number 7 jersey as he combines with Munster duo Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander in the back row.

Hansen, who will bid next year to win successive World Cups as coach, thinks Schmidt, despite his denials, will have a trick or two up his sleeve.

Commenting on the team selection, Schmidt said: "There were some tough decisions. I feel we're in a pretty good space right now mentally, and physically we're in the best shape we can be as well". When you take a second to think about all the world-class players that have played for Ireland and never achieved what the 23 in Chicago did that's when you get the goosebumps and realise how big of an achievement it was.

Steve Hansen has hailed Joe Schmidt for shifting Ireland's "thought process" in dragging the Grand Slam champions to second in the world rankings. There were good performances from the likes of Jack Conan, Will Addison stepping in at the last minute last week.

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"I think it'll be an awesome Test match, and that's what I'm looking forward to". "If they had some of the moves he has, they would be picking teams apart".

"We've been trying to distance ourselves but it's been hard to get away from the past four, six months".

He added: "We weren't that far away in that Test (at home to New Zealand two years ago)".

"Whoever comes out on top is going to be the number one team so it's a massive game, there's been no shortage of edge throughout the week".

"So they're playing 10% better than they would have from the get-go and if they're a good side playing 10% better, then we've got to improve a lot ourselves".

"Even then we got quite close to their line, Seanie (O'Brien) nearly went over, Rob Kearney was dragged down five metres short, so we weren't too far away". But New Zealand will have to play average for them to win.

"We know that they'll come after us in some areas because they did last time". From a New Zealand perspective, it hasn't been the most successful season on the field as we would expect and there's high expectation from New Zealand so it's another Test where they're really going to be challenged and it's an opportunity to right the wrongs of the past. "Apart from that, when the game's up and running it's likely to be fairly manic".

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