Just one change as Ireland name team for Second Test against All Blacks 4 months ago

Just one change as Ireland name team for Second Test against All Blacks

A show of faith in the frontline players.

Andy Farrell has made a few tweaks to his Ireland match-day squad, ahead of the Second Test against the All Blacks, in Dunedin.

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There is only one change to the Irish starting XV, with Mack Hansen starting on the right wing in place of the unlucky Keith Earls. Hansen resumed training with the squad earlier this week after his period of isolation due to a positive Covid test.

Another player back in the mix after a Covid positive is Finlay Bealham. The Connacht prop takes his place on the bench, in place of Tom O'Toole, with Rob Herring named back-up hooker.

Johnny Sexton Johnny Sexton pictured during Ireland rugby squad training at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland. (Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)
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Andy Farrell freshens up his Ireland team

Two of the three changes to the Ireland squad are down to Hansen and Bealham being available to play. The other switch is necessitated by Dave Heffernan being ruled out with concussion, although Andy Farrell will be pleased to have Rob Herring back.

Despite failing an in-game Head Injury Assessment, last weekend, two further HIAs saw Johnny Sexton ruled out of having a confirmed concussion, and cleared to play. He starts as captain beside Jamison Gibson Park in the 9/10 axis.

With as few changes as possible, Farrell is showing faith in most of the men that featured in the 42-19 First Test reversal, at Eden Park. Keith Earls is the most unfortunate to miss out, after his try-scoring performance, which included some solid defensive moments, in that first game.

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The All Blacks named this Test squad today, too, with Scott Barrett switching to second row, in place of the concussed Sam Whitelock and Dalton Papalii named at blindside.

IRELAND TEAM FOR THE SECOND TEST

15. Hugo Keenan
14. Mack Hansen
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Andrew Porter
2. Dan Sheehan
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O'Mahony (captain)
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris

REPLACEMENTS: Rob Herring, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey  Carbery, Bundee Aki.

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