All you need to know ahead of the All Blacks' clash against Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin.

All Blacks v Ireland, Sunday November 18, 8am kickoff (NZT)

Another week, another battle between two heavyweights of world rugby.

The All Blacks and Ireland, ranked No.1 and 2 in the world respectively, will throw down on the hollowed turf at Dublin's Lansdowne Road for their 31st match up since 1905.
Since their first meeting, things haven't gone all that well from the Irish side – with just one win to their name.


The All Blacks have made just one change to their starting XV from the side that beat England a week ago. Sonny Bill Williams, who was unavailable due to injury, has been replaced in the No.12 jersey by Ryan Crotty, while Anton Lienert-Brown joins the bench.

Steve Hansen has elected to continue running three first five-eighths in his 23, with Damian McKenzie again donning the No.15 jersey behind Beauden Barrett in the No.10, allowing Richie Mo'unga a space on the bench. Scott Barrett will again provide cover at lock and blindside flanker from the bench.

Ireland are without three of their usual stars, with Connor Murray, Sean O'Brien and Robbie Henshaw all unavailable. Halfback Murray is arguably the biggest loss for the side, with his accurate box-kicking game known to test opposition backlines in the air.

O'Brien and Henshaw were injured in the side's 28-17 win over Argentina last weekend, with O'Brien breaking his arm and Henshaw injuring his hamstring.

Wayne Barnes will have the whistle.

All Blacks: Damian McKenzie, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Karl Tu'inukuafe. Reserves: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo'unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Kieran Marmion; CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Peter O'Mahony, James Ryan, Devin Toner, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (c), Cian Healy. Reserves: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.

TAB odds

All Blacks $1.44
Ireland $2.75
Draw $18


The All Blacks have won 28 of their 30 encounters against Ireland dating back to 1905.
Ireland have a solitary win, picked up in Chicago in 2016, while the sides played out a competitive 10-10 draw at Lansdowne Road back in 1973.

Last match: All Blacks won 21-9, Dublin (November 19, 2016)
Largest All Blacks winning margin: 60-0 (2012)

What UK media is saying

Mick Cleary of the Telegraph writes this match is all about whether Ireland can show they're a serious contender for next year's Rugby World Cup.

He writes: "This is an opportunity to reach out and draw a new horizon. They have the capability. As Grand Slam champions of Europe and on a run of a record 10 successive victories at home, their credentials are impeccable. Yet they have beaten New Zealand only once in 113 years. The case needs still to be proven. Saturday night is that time."

The match holds a similar importance for the Daily Mail's Will Kelleher, who believes Ireland have a chance to shift the balance of world rugby on their home turf.

He writes: "Ireland have not lost at home for two years – since New Zealand beat them in 2016 – and the All Blacks, despite maintaining a ludicrously high win ratio, are looking vulnerable after they lost to South Africa and were run close by England last weekend. This could be when the balance in power shifts in world rugby."

Tony Ward of the Irish Independent, however, says this match is probably bigger for the coaches than the players.

He writes: "For Steve Hansen who has achieved everything and for Joe Schmidt who has still one mighty Everest (called Webb Ellis) to climb, this meeting – however much they might seek to play it down on a personal level – is massive. "It won't decide the winners of the 2019 World Cup but it will provide a massive psychological boost for one man ahead of a pressure-filled build-up to Japan."
How to watch

The Herald will be live blogging the test from 7am while Radio Sport will also have live commentary. Sky TV's live coverage starts at 7.00am.