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Joe Schmidt names Ireland team to face All Blacks in Chicago

RugbyBy Sunday World
Captain Rory Best throws the ball during Ireland training in Chicago
Captain Rory Best throws the ball during Ireland training in Chicago

Rob Kearney has been named to start at full-back for Ireland's meeting with New Zealand on Saturday.

The experienced Leinsterman will win his 70th Ireland cap in Chicago as Joe Schmidt reverts to his tried and trusted backline, with Jared Payne partnering Robbie Henshaw in midfield.

Kearney missed the summer tour of South Africa with injury and Payne and Tiernan O'Halloran filled in well in his absence but he has been an automatic selection when fit for Schmidt. who has shown faith again.

Garry Ringrose and Joey Carbery could make their debuts off the bench at Soldier Field after being named as cover, with Kieran Marmion edging out Luke McGrath for the No 21 shirt.

Tadhg Furlong starts just his second Test at tighthead prop alongside Rory Best and Jack McGrath, while Donnacha Ryan gets the nod ahead of Ultan Dillane in the second row.

Schmidt has retained the back three that started the first and third Tests in South Africa, with Jordi Murphy holding off Josh van der Flier to play at openside alongside CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip.

Ireland kick-off against New Zealand at 8pm Irish time on Saturday, with Eir Sport showing the game.

Ireland team to face New Zealand: R Kearney; A Trimble, J Payne, R Henshaw, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, T Furlong; D Toner, D Ryan; CJ Stander, J Murphy, J Heaslip.

Replacements: S Cronin, C Healy, F Bealham, U Dillane, J vd Flier, K Marmion, J Carbery, G Ringrose.

Meanwhile, New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has named the following team:

All Blacks team to face Ireland: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, George Moala, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Patrick Tuipulotu is, Jerome Kaino, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.

Replacements: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Charlie Fauimuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa.

Ruaidhri O'Connor