Smith, Savea and Retallick set for All Black debuts
June 6, 2012
The three All Blacks debutants © Getty Images
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has named three new caps in his side to face Ireland in Auckland on Saturday.
Highlanders scrum-half Aaron Smith makes his Test bow alongside the fit-again Dan Carter at halfback, while Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick joins Sam Whitelock in the second-row.
Hurricanes wing Julian Savea is the final new face, while Zac Guildford has won the race to wear the No.14 jersey following injuries to Richard Kahui and Cory Jane.
"We picked them in the squad because they have all shown that they have special qualities which they now get the opportunity to show on the international stage," Hansen said.
"The build-up so far this week has been good. With such a short preparation time, we have focused on keeping things simple and bringing the team together.
"We have been concentrating on making sure we have clarity early in the week, increasing intensity and accuracy as the week goes on, which should allow us to put in a performance that we can be proud of on Saturday."
Outside Carter, Sonny Bill Williams and Conrad Smith are the centres, with Israel Dagg at fullback. In the pack, Victor Vito takes over the No.6 jersey vacated by Jerome Kaino - with skipper Richie McCaw and No.8 Kieran Read rounding out the back-row - while the experienced front-row of Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore and Owen Franks gets a runout.
New Zealand: I Dagg (Crusaders); Z Guildford (Crusaders), C Smith (Hurricanes), SB Williams (Chiefs), J Savea (Hurricanes); D Carter (Crusaders), A Smith (Highlanders); T Woodcock (Blues), A Hore (Highlanders), O Franks (Crusaders), B Retallick (Chiefs), S Whitelock (Crusaders), V Vito (Hurricanes), R McCaw (Crusaders), K Read (Crusaders)
Replacements: H Elliot (Chiefs), B Franks (Crusaders), A Williams (Blues), A Thomson (Highlanders), P Weepu (Blues), A Cruden (Chiefs), B Smith (Highlanders)
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