Rugby World Cup quarter-final: Ireland v New Zealand - All Blacks player profiles

Patrick Madden looks at the side Steve Hansen has picked to face up against Ireland

 Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga of the All Blacks run through drills during a  training session at Tatsuminomori Seaside Park  in Tokyo. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga of the All Blacks run through drills during a training session at Tatsuminomori Seaside Park in Tokyo. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

 

15 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)
Age: 28
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 91kg (14st, 5lbs)
Caps: 80
The world’s best outhalf is now doing a pretty good job from fullback. Barrett’s lines of running are imperious – just don’t mention the fumble against Canada.

14
Sevu Reece (Crusaders)
Age: 22
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 87kg (13st, 9lbs)
Caps: 5
Destined for Connacht, Reece’s move to Galway fell through due to a domestic abuse case last year. An electric finisher, Ireland will look to test him in the air.

13
Jack Goodhue (Crusaders)
Age: 24
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 98kg (15st 6lbs)
Caps: 11
Goodhue’s selection in midfield ahead of Ryan Crotty and Sonny Bill Williams shows how highly thought of, and gifted he is. His match up with Garry Ringrose will be fascinating.

New Zealand’s Anton Lienert-Brown scores a try during the Rugby World Cup Pool B game against Namibia at Tokyo Stadium. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho
New Zealand’s Anton Lienert-Brown scores a try during the Rugby World Cup Pool B game against Namibia at Tokyo Stadium. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho

12 Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs)
Age: 24
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 86kg (13st 8lbs)
Caps: 40
Lienert-Brown is now the All Blacks main man in midfield, and is a sublime creative presence at inside centre. He was superb against South Africa and Namibia and has a potent offload.

11 George Bridge (Crusaders)
Age: 24
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 96kg (15st 1lb)
Caps: 7
Bridge sealed his place as a starter in Japan thanks to a four-try salvo against Tonga in September. He followed up by finishing off one of the tries of the tournament against the Springboks.

10
Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders)
Age
25
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 83kg (13st)
Caps: 14
Steve Hansen’s decision to reshuffle looks justified – Mo’unga has been assured off the tee, in attack and he made the tackle of the tournament when reeling in Cheslin Kolbe.

9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders)
Age: 30
Height:
5’7”
Weight: 83kg (13st 1lb)
Caps: 89
Heads into this match as the supreme number nine on the pitch after wrestling his crown back from Conor Murray. Ireland must slow him and the ball down.

1 Joe Moody (Crusaders)
Age 31
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 120kg (18st, 12lbs)
Caps: 43
Sent to the sinbin during Ireland’s victory over the All Blacks in Chicago, Moody’s battle with Tadhg Furlong will be crucial. Scored a rare try in the rout of Namibia.

2
Codie Taylor (Crusaders)
Age: 28
Height: 6’
Weight: 108kg (17st, 1lb)
Caps: 28
Taylor gets the nod ahead of Dane Coles in what is perhaps Hansen’s tightest selection call. Taylor also started against the Springboks and is a smart footballer, sprightly around the park.

3
Nepo Laulala (Chiefs)
Age: 27
Height: 6’
Weight: 116kg (18st, 3lbs)
Caps: 22
Samoan-born prop Laulala made New Zealand’s squad ahead of the veteran Owen Franks, and started against South Africa. Physical, mobile – the perfect modern day tighthead.

Brodie Retallick returns to the New Zealand secondrow for the quarter-final against Ireland. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Brodie Retallick returns to the New Zealand secondrow for the quarter-final against Ireland. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

4 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs)
Age: 28
Height: 6’8”
Weight: 121kg (19st 1lb)
Caps: 78
Retallick’s return from a dislocated shoulder is a huge boost for the All Blacks, and he was fit to start against Namibia. Even if he’s slightly match rusty he remains a formidable engine room presence for the side.

5 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders)
Age: 31
Height: 6’8”
Weight: 120kg (18st 13lbs)
Caps: 115
Whitelock has got his mate back in the secondrow and one of the great partnerships can continue. What a match-up it will be against the blossoming duo of James Ryan and Iain Henderson.

6
Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)
Age: 26
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 100kg (15st 10lbs)
Caps: 37
Savea is still getting to grips with protective eye goggles but Ireland must keep him quiet on Saturday. His offloading, running and work on the floor make him one of the All Blacks’ biggest threats.

7 Sam Cane (Chiefs)
Age: 27
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 103kg (16st, 3lbs)
Caps: 65
It is just over a year since Sam Cane fractured his neck against South Africa in Pretoria – a potentially career-ending injury. He’s back to full fitness but only managed 40 minutes against the Boks due to a HIA.

8 Kieran Read (Crusaders, capt)
Age: 33
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 111kg (17st 7lbs)
Caps: 124
Read has already captained the All Blacks to their only ever pair of defeats to Ireland. A third, in a World Cup quarter-final would be unthinkable. Like Ireland’s Rory Best, he must get on well with Nigel Owens.

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