Kiwis set to hand out three debuts
June 6, 2012
Aaron Smith looks set to start for the All Blacks © Getty Images
The All Blacks are set to hand out three Test debuts when they face Ireland on Saturday, according to reports.
All Blacks boss Steve Hansen, according the New Zealand Herald, is expected to start scrum-half Aaron Smith, second-row Brodie Retallick and flyer Julian Savea against Ireland with all three featuring in a shadow Test line-up during training. With Cory Jane and Richard Kahui sidelined, Zac Guildford looks set to get the nod on the wing.
Ahead of the Test with Ireland, one man who both Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams have their eyes firmly set on is talismanic outside centre Brian O'Driscoll. O'Driscoll has featured sparsely this season for Leinster, due to injury, but was a key component of the side that dismantled Ulster in the Heineken Cup final. For Williams, O'Driscoll is Ireland's main attacking threat.
"O'Driscoll is always the danger man. Absolutely. He's done well since he came back," said Williams. "It's going to be a tough challenge but hopefully we can play a style of footie that is entertaining but a winning style as well."
His sentiments are echoed by Nonu who said: "O'Driscoll is going great. He always turns out. He's such a great player, that I admire. I've been watching him for a long time and always seems to turn up at the right time, especially for Leinster. The older he gets, the better he gets."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
"To be the best it's not about the flash stuff, it's actually about everything done at a very high level." Tom Hamilton on the England squad
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden