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Ireland make four changes for All Blacks Test

Date
Back from injury ... prop Mike Ross at Ireland training in Christchurch.

Back from injury ... prop Mike Ross at Ireland training in Christchurch. Photo: Getty Images

CHRISTCHURCH: Ireland have beefed up their front row with the return of tighthead prop Mike Ross in one of four changes to their starting line up for the second Test against the All Blacks here on Saturday.

Ross, a robust scrummager, missed the 42-10 loss in the first Test because of a hamstring injury leaving Declan Fitzpatrick to make his debut against the All Blacks 84-cap veteran Tony Woodcock.

Fitzpatrick has been dropped back to the bench for the second Test as has left wing Simon Zebo who also made his debut last week.

The other changes in the team announced on Thursday see Gordon D'Arcy restored to inside centre in place of the injured Keith Earls and Kevin McLaughlin, comes off the bench to take over from Peter O'Mahony at blindside flanker.

D'Arcy's selection reunites him with captain Brian O'Driscoll to start their 48th international as Ireland's midfield partnership.

Ireland forwards coach and former Springbok Gert Smal expects a vastly improved performance from his pack for the second Test against an All Blacks side he rates highly.

"They have the makings of a great side," he conceded after Ireland were trounced in the first Test.

"In saying that, we are not going to sit back and wait and see what they can do.

"Again, I think we can also play a little bit and we also showed two years ago that even with 14 men we can score two tries if we keep possession and have a go at them. That is what we are going to do on Saturday."

Ireland (15-1): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Andrew Trimble; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien, Kevin McLaughlin; Donnacha Ryan, Dan Tuohy; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Cian Healy. Reserves: Sean Cronin, Declan Fitzpatrick, Donncha O'Callaghan, Peter O'Mahony, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O'Gara, Simon Zebo.

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
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