A dream will come true for Brodie Retallick when he swaps his Chiefs jersey for an All Blacks one.

Retallick is one of three players (including Aaron Smith and Julian Savea) making their debut against Ireland at Eden Park, Auckland, tonight.

The 21-year-old Retallick steps into the vacancy left by the departure for Ireland of Brad Thorn. He will become the second youngest All Blacks lock, two days older than Mark Cooksley, who was 21 years, 7 days old when he made his debut in 1992.

Retallick told The Daily Post it had always been a dream of his to become an All Black.


"I think it's probably a dream for most kids who grow up in New Zealand to be an All Black one day."

It's been a meteoric rise for the young lock who made his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs this year. At 2.04m and 120kg, Retallick is the tallest player in the New Zealand conference and one of the biggest in the Super Rugby competition.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the three newcomers had earned their test debuts due to their form throughout the Super 15 season.

"We picked them because they have all shown that they have special qualities, which they now get the opportunity to show on the international stage," he said. "The build-up so far this week has been good. With such a short preparation time, we have focused on keeping things simple and bringing the team together.

"We have been concentrating on making sure we have clarity early in the week, increasing intensity and accuracy as the week goes on, which should allow us to put in a performance that we can be proud of [tonight]."

Retallick already has All Blacks pedigree running through the veins with his uncle John Ashworth a former All Blacks prop.

He has already tasted success in a black jersey - he was part of the world championship New Zealand under-20s last season.

Retallick has beaten veteran Ali Williams for the role as right-side lock in the scrum after a superb debut season with the Chiefs.

The young lock's all-round game, sting in the set piece and around the field, has been a boon for Hansen and his fellow selectors Ian Foster and Grant Fox, who have been searching for a solution to the departure of Brad Thorn.

So far, Retallick suggests he could have a lengthy international career if his massive frame hangs together.

Hansen said Retallick deserved his chance in front of Williams who is on the bench for tonight's match.

When asked about Retallick's ability to cope with the physical demands of test rugby, Hansen said: "He's coped with it at the level below. We're making the assumption that he can. I've got every confidence and so have the other coaches."

Ireland have also included two new caps in their side to take on the All Blacks.

Simon Zebo, who at 22 is the youngest member of the touring squad, starts on the left wing in a team that has an average age of just over 26.

Declan Fitzpatrick is the other man to make his first start in the green jersey, being named at tighthead prop after Mike Ross failed to recover sufficiently from a hamstring strain. Fitzpatrick will start alongside loosehead Cian Healy and hooker Rory Best, who will be winning his 60th cap.

Other features of the side include a new centre partnership between Keith Earls and returning captain Brian O'Driscoll, who missed the Six Nations Championship due to injury.

Fergus McFadden starts on the right wing in a back three that includes Zebo and Rob Kearney at fullback, while Jonathan Sexton starts at No 10, partnered by Conor Murray.

In the forwards, Dan Touhy will make his first start for Ireland in the second row, after making his debut against the All Blacks as a replacement in 2010. He will partner Donnacha Ryan. Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip are all named in the back row.

The game kicks off at 7.35pm.additional reporting APNZ