Wednesday 12 December 2018

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Ireland prepare for All Blacks challenge

Thursday, 15th November, 2018 9:09am

It's been two years since Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time ever and the national side will be hoping to repeat their heroics at the Aviva Stadium following their wins over Argentina and Italy in recent weeks.

Defence coach Andy Farrell spoke to the media this week ahead of Saturday evening's game saying that having Kearney back in the squad is a huge boost to his side's chances against the number one team in the world.

“Anyone would be happy to have Rob Kearney in the squad, the experience alone of what he's been through and the experience of playing against New Zealand before, he's key to any squad. I think we've got some good grounding behind Rob and people are willing to step in if need be.”

Although Sean O'Brien, Robbie Henshaw and Conor Murray are all ruled out through injury, Ireland have a full deck to chose from beyond that trio.

New Zealand, Farrell said, are the perfect opposition for any team looking to improve.

“They're the best team in the world for a reason, we get excited and we want to play against them as much as we possibly can. Why? Cause we want to test ourselves and we want to improve and keep pushing up the ladder, as it were.

“If we could play them every week, it would be good for us and our development.

They're a good side aren't they?

They're going to have their time in the sun and what they're masters at, and making sure when things go wrong for them, which they do because they're a team like any one else, their confidence levels and ability to stick to the plan and stay on point, is better than anyone.”

He continued: “When a side has been top of the tree for nine years like they have, and let's be fair, it's been longer then that really – there's only one team that's top of the tree. But it's an important year and it's important for us to keep building and try and keep closing that gap.”

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