All Blacks name team for second rugby test vs Ireland

Scott Barrett will return for the second Test against Ireland following Sam Whitelock’s withdrawal, with Dalton Papalii finishing 6th in the only All Blacks starting team change after the 42-19 win in Auckland.

Barrett put in a strong performance in the opening Test win at the blindside flanker, but Whitelock’s delayed concussion and Tupou Vaa’i’s Covid send him back to the second row.

David Havili, who missed first test with Covid, remains sidelined but Will Jordan is back on the bench.

The backline is unchanged from game one and there are two uncapped players on the bench, support Aidan Ross and halfback Folau Fakatava.

Jordan was called up on the bench in place of Braydon Ennor, leaving Jordie Barrett and Leicester Fainga’anuku as midfield options.

“While I was pleased with our performance and the lead we showed in the first friendly, we really need to step up and improve in a few key areas,” said coach Ian Foster. “We know the Irish will throw everything at us this week to keep the series alive.

“We’ve had challenges again this week but we believe this team have laid a foundation to build on and are keen to improve against a very determined Irish side.”

Dalton Papalii will wear the number six shirt alongside captain Sam Cane at seven and Ardie Savea at the back of the scrum.

“The backline remains unchanged with the plan to build on existing combinations from the previous week,” Foster said.

Whilst this is the All Blacks’ eighth friendly at Forsyth Barr Stadium, it will be Ireland’s first friendly at the venue.

The All Blacks have won 40 of 46 friendly matches in Dunedin, losing five and drawing one.

Johnny Sexton was cleared to lead Ireland despite failing an HIA during the first Test. Subsequent tests found no concussion.

“Johnny is a world-class rugby player,” said Ireland attacking coach Mike Catt. “It demands high standards and ultimately you want to get into a player-driven environment. Johnny brings that with him. It also brings with it a lot of confidence. It’s really business as usual for Johnny, but it helps, yes. It helps everyone, we also learn from it.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s Mack Hansen is set to return after missing Eden Park’s loss following his bout of Covid.

“Yeah, Mack’s cool,” Catt said.

“He has a real understanding of the game, a really good rugby brain. He’s also exceptionally skilled, so we’ll see again. He trained very well today so it’s nice to see him again because it’s very tough for the guys who have been in isolation for 10 days.

“They just want to get out and do more and more. So it’s great to have him back.”

All Blacks team for second Test (appearances in parentheses)

  1. George Bower (12)
  2. Cody Taylor (67)
  3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (45)
  4. Brodie Retallick (93)
  5. Scott Barrett (49)
  6. Dalton Papalii (13)
  7. Sam Cane (78) captain
  8. Ardie Savea (60)
  9. Aaron Smith (103)
  10. Beauden Barrett (102)
  11. Leicester Fainga’anuku (1)
  12. Quinn Tupaea (8)
  13. Rieko Ioane (48)
  14. Sevu Reece (18)
  15. Jordie Barrett (37)
  16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (10)
  17. Aidan Ross* (0)
  18. Angus Ta’avao (21)
  19. Patrick Tuipulotu (41)
  20. Pita Gus Sowakula (1)
  21. Folau Fakatava* (0)
  22. Richie Mo’unga (33)
  23. Will Jordan (13) All Blacks name team for second rugby test vs Ireland

Nate Jones

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