17 Oct 2019

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks name team to play Ireland

From Checkpoint, 5:22 pm on 17 October 2019

The All Blacks have made a couple of surprise selections in the team to play Ireland in Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarterfinal in Tokyo.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has left Ryan Crotty out of the match day 23 and fellow midfielder Sonny Bill Williams is on the bench with Jack Goodhue named at centre and Anton Leinert Brown at second five.

Another eyebrow raiser is at hooker, where Codie Taylor starts ahead of Dane Coles, who is on the bench.

The rest of the team is as expected. Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are the locks with Ardie Savea, Sam Cane and Kieran Read the loose forward trio.

Aaron Smith starts at halfback, Richie Mo'unga is at first five, George Bridge and Sevu Reece are on the wings and Beauden Barrett is at fullback.

Coach Steve Hansen says choosing the midfield was tough. Hansen says Taylor and Coles will both get plenty of game time, despite Taylor being in the run on 15.

He says he'll use the two hookers as a one-two punch and either could have started.

Hansen believes the All Blacks depth on the bench could prove their point of difference.

Rugby reporter Joe Porter joins us live from Tokyo where the All Blacks press conference has just taken place.