Hear from the All Blacks as they speak for the final time before their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland.

Assistant coach Ian Foster, Sam Whitelock and Jack Goodhue are all set to talk to the media before their final captain's run in Tokyo.

Premium gold

If we can take anything from the demeanour of All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and his players put before the media yesterday, it's that they have a quiet confidence they have prepared for everything Ireland will bring in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

That's reflected in the selection of the matchday 23, too. The only minor surprises are at hooker, where Codie Taylor starts ahead of Dane Coles in what Hansen has described as a "one-two" punch combination, and Jordie Barrett on the reserves bench ahead of Ben Smith; primarily for his long-range goalkicking ability.

Advertisement

You could call it a horses for courses approach – extra relevant because Hansen has a horse running in a $14 million race in Australia on Saturday, too – but what comes through strongly is how settled this line-up looks and how much faith Hansen and company have in those fortunate players tasked with the job in the biggest game for the All Blacks since the World Cup final four years ago.

The trump card perhaps, and one that Hansen touched on, is the quality sitting on the reserves bench, including Coles, Scott Barrett, TJ Perenara and Sonny Bill Williams. That quartet, plus loose forward Matt Todd and the middle Barrett have the potential to quickly take this game away from Ireland in the final quarter.

"We've got the ability to inject some fresh legs into the game at some point, whether it's [for] Sam [Whitelock] or Brodie [Retallick], we'll wait and see," Hansen said. "Those extra fresh legs could be the difference maybe. We're very fortunate with our bench, it's strong and has been for a long time. When you look at the experience that's on that bench, it does give you a bit of confidence."

He added of Retallick starting at lock despite playing only 30 minutes of rugby over the past three months: "Brodie's a bit of a freak when it comes to fitness. He's got what we call a big motor and has the ability to play off long breaks or short breaks. He's put the work in, there's no question mark around that, it's just how long we have to play him or want to play him. He can play 80 minutes… but we're very fortunate we've got a young man called Scott Barrett who's a very good player in his own right."