New Zealand

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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen was proud of his team’s defence in their victory at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Brutal. The physical collisions should have been measured on the Richter scale, the vast majority legitimately ferocious; some that deserved a greater(...)

Ireland scrum coach and former All Black Greg Feek who led haka at Lansdowne Road in 2001. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Ireland’s scrum guru nowadays, Greg Feek, was an All Black once upon a time. Even led the haka at Lansdowne Road in 2001. But we wanted him to speak a(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has no new concerns after Saturday’s win over Canada. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Ireland have never gone into a meeting with the All Blacks in better nick. Quite conceivably, the entire first-choice XV were rested up while a notion(...)

Ireland’s Rob Kearney is tackled by Aaron Smith of New Zealand in Soldier Field: “Not only was his performance sublime, his leadership   was phenomenal.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

When is the best player no longer the best player? That is to say, how long into a given match will the player on the bench become better than the sta(...)

The Ireland team and management celebrate in the dressing-room of Soldier Field. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

If there are any lingering regrets, the pity is it didn’t happen before, notably in Dublin three Novembers ago, but at a stroke Rory Best’s team remov(...)

Conor Murray, Jared Payne and Jamie Heaslip celebrate Robbie Henshaw’s try, which sealed Ireland’s victory over New Zealand at Soldier Field – their first over the All Blacks in 111 years. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

History-breakers and history-makers. To call this a once-in-a-lifetime victory doesn’t even do it justice, given it eventually transpired to be a win (...)

Ireland players celebrate beating the All Blacks. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

You’d imagine that 111 years of hurt would be enough to stop anyone dreaming. And with the All Blacks going in with a WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW record, the ch(...)

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith: ‘I love this team and want to do everything I can to help them succeed.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Known as the Professor, he provides much of the spark within the current All Blacks brains trust, and has been doing so now for most of the last two d(...)

  Dan Carter at the launch of SoftCo10, a leading provider of financial software.

There will be no history mentioned prior to the meeting in the aptly named Soldier Field. The New Zealand team have a unique kind of detachment. A sof(...)

Ireland replacement outhalf Joey Carbery trains yesterday at the University of Chicago ahead of Saturday Test with New Zealand. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

For Joe Schmidt, this is always the special one. No games are more daunting, and no games come bigger than against his native New Zealand. He’s a t(...)

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