Keith Earls returns as full-strength Ireland target victory over New Zealand
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has named his strongest possible team for the third Test against a New Zealand team weakened by the loss of Dan Carter.
Ireland have been boosted by the return of Keith Earls, who missed the 22-19 defeat in Christchurch and moves from centre to left wing, a position in which he has prospered for the Irish.
Kidney has also drafted in Earls' provincial colleague Peter O'Mahony and Paddy Wallace of Ulster to take the respective places of Jamie Heaslip at number eight and Gordon D'Arcy at inside centre.
The starting line-up is otherwise unchanged from the side that came within 35 seconds of securing a draw with the world champions last week.
Kidney said: "Keith's stated preference is he prefers to play at 13 but Brian (O'Driscoll) is not one to give it up too easily.
"He is a great team player and he is happy to be back in. He has rehabbed quite well, which is a credit to the medical team and himself for getting over (his shoulder injury). He has trained well this week."
Kidney admitted that it was 'not ideal' that Wallace only arrived on Tuesday evening but he feels the coaching staff have allayed any jet-lag concerns.
He said: "Paddy has always been a great player for Ireland. We talk about the squad ethic and what Paddy has given in the background, and in his 10 years' service to the Irish team, has been fantastic."
All Blacks fly-half Carter, who kicked the winning drop goal in the second Test, has been ruled out with a sore hamstring that he strained in training and has been replaced by Aaron Cruden.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said: "On assessment, he has suffered a mild hamstring strain to his right leg which has unfortunately ruled him out of this weekend's Test."
Ireland team to face New Zealand on Saturday: R Kearney; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll (captain), P Wallace, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, D Tuohy, D Ryan, K McLaughlin, S O'Brien, P O'Mahony.
Replacements: D Fitzpatrick, S Cronin, D O'Callaghan, C Henry, E Reddan, R O'Gara, A Trimble.
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
New Manchester City manager must deliver five trophies in five years
Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.