Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Christophe Ena All Black forward Jerome Kaino will have an unfamiliar number on his back for New Zealand on Saturday.
# Ireland
Hansen shifts Kaino into second row as he names All Blacks team to face Ireland
Elsewhere, Scott Barrett could earn his first cap from the bench and Aaron Smith returns to the starting line-up following his disciplinary issues.

NEW ZEALAND COACH Steve Hansen has named Jerome Kaino in the second row for Saturday’s Test match against Ireland in Chicago.

The All Blacks are light on options at lock following the withdrawals of Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock through injury and the return of Luke Romano to New Zealand due to a family bereavement.

As a result, the versatile Kaino, who usually operates at blindside flanker or number eight, has been selected in the second row alongside Blues team-mate Patrick Tuipulotu.

Kaino has covered the position in the past for New Zealand but it is his first Test start in the second row.

Scott Barrett, the 22-year-old brother of out-half Beauden, is in line to win his first international cap at lock having been named on the bench.

Aaron Smith also returns to the side at scrum-half following his recent disciplinary issues, where he will partner the elder Barrett in the halfbacks.

The experienced Ben Smith once again lines out at fullback where he will be flanked by the relatively green Waisake Naholo (eight caps) and the explosive Julian Savea, who has scored 45 tries in 49 Test matches.

With Savea’s younger brother Ardie also included among the replacements, the All Blacks could have two sets of brothers on the field for the first time since 1961.

Ryan Crotty, who broke Irish hearts with his last-gasp try at the Aviva in 2013, will partner George Moala, who will earn just his fourth international cap, in a somewhat surprising selection ahead of Malakai Fekitoa, in midfield.

Joe Moody, Dane Coles and Owen Franks form a formidable front row while the back row is made up of Liam Squire, Sam Cane and captain Kieran Read.

“Jerome has been covering for us the last few weeks and he’s very comfortable in the position,” Hansen explained of his decision to pick Kaino in the second row.

“We thought it was a big ask to ask a young fella [Scott Barrett to play] who has only been here since Sunday.”

Hansen also has plenty of options on the bench with the likes of Aaron Cruden, TJ Perenara, Charlie Faumuina, Fekitoa and Savea listed.

However, there is no place in the 23 for Anton Lienert-Brown who featured prominently in their Rugby Championship campaign.

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New Zealand team

15. Ben Smith (58 caps)
14. Waisake Naholo (8)
13. George Moala (3)
12. Ryan Crotty (24)
11. Julian Savea (49)
10. Beauden Barrett (46)
9. Aaron Smith (54)

1. Joe Moody (20)
2. Dane Coles (46)
3. Owen Franks (87)
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (10)
5. Jerome Kaino (75)
6. Liam Squire (6)
7. Sam Cane (37)
8. Kieran Read (94, capt)

16. Codie Taylor (11)
17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (2)
18. Charlie Faumuina (42)
19. Scott Barrett (0)
20. Ardie Savea (9)
21. TJ Perenara (26)
22. Aaron Cruden (43)
23. Malakai Fekitoa (20)

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