Here comes Haka.
teams are on the pitchIt’s time for the national anthem, and kick-off is less than five minutes away.
“It doesn’t get any bigger Compared to Eden Park on a dry evening,” Ireland head coach Andy Farrell tells Sky Sports. “We know the challenge ahead of us but we are excited at the time…
“I want to see some courage. I want to see us be ourselves with the word ‘go’.”
in eternal struggle More exquisitely crafted in rugby than anywhere else, between the domestic sport and the international, this weekend marks the opening of the latest window for the international game to set its stall. Traders also mean trading, which, if the strength of the teams is announced, is often reduced at this time of year, whatever the case.
Ireland’s Finlay Bilham has tested positive for covid, so Sean Healy comes in at 22. There are some budding players for New Zealand: Leicester Finganku is on the wing, and Chiefs No.8 Pita Gus Sowakula is on the bench.
New Zealand: J. Barrett, Rees, R. John, Tupea, Finganuku, B. Barrett, Smith, Bower, Taylor, Tu’ungfasi, Retlick, Whitlock, S. Barrett, Kane, Sevia. Replacement: Toukeyaho, Tuinukuafe, Tawao-Matau, Sowakula, Papali, Christie, Mo’unga, Ennore.
Ireland: Keenan, Earls, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe, Sexton, Gibson-Park, Porter, Sheehan, Furlong, Beerne, Ryan, O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris. Replacement: Heffernan, Healy, O’Toole, Treadwell, Conan, Murray, Carberry, Aki.
Referee: Carl Dixon (RFU)
Ireland waited a long time to beat New Zealand: 111 years, to be exact. Since they finally achieved the feat in Chicago in 2018, the floodgates have opened, and Ireland now have three wins against the All Blacks on the books, Most recently in November 2021,
However, they are yet to beat New Zealand in New Zealand. What does it mean for Andy Farrell to do so over the next few weeks? Everything and nothing, but mainly everything, both as a milestone on their journey to next year’s World Cup, and as one of rugby union’s great achievements in its own right.
Like Wimbledon and the Tour de France, Covid has not left the event untouched, with many players and coaches sidelined. Former Ireland head coach, Joe Schmidt has also been drafted by New Zealand as a stand-in to lend a hand.
It’s the start of a bountiful summer of rugby, with England in Australia and Wales in South Africa, but it may be for the best.
Kick-off: 8.05 a.m. BST.