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the winning drop goal in the second Test, has been ruled out with a sore hamstring that he strained in training and has been replaced by Aaron Cruden.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.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage