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Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Friday, 19 November 2010

Ireland v New Zealand

Autumn international
Venue: Aviva Stadium Date: Saturday, 20 November 2010 Kick-off: 1730 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website; listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Ulster MW and online; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

MATCH PREVIEW

Ireland picked up a welcome win last week, having lost their previous four Tests. But while their 20-10 victory over Samoa has helped restore some confidence, it was nowhere near as impressive as the All Blacks' 49-3 demolition of Scotland at Murrayfield.

Declan Kidney
Ireland head coach Declan Kidney

Ireland, like Scotland, have never beaten New Zealand and the Irish camp have said this week that they need to 'step it up' on Saturday. If they fail to, we could see a repeat of the 66-28 thumping they received at the hands of the All Blacks in New Plymouth this summer.

New Zealand ran in nine tries in that match, taking advantage of Jamie Heaslip's first-half sending off and Ronan O'Gara's visit to the sin-bin. Ireland coach Declan Kidney described it as a "horror show".

Unfortunately, it is not the only frightening spectacle Irish supporters have seen this year. In March, Ireland relinquished their Six Nations crown rather meekly, ending their campaign with a home defeat against Scotland. A few weeks earlier they had been comprehensively beaten by the new champions, France, in Paris.

606: DEBATE

Mixed form has not helped ticket sales at the new Aviva Stadium, although expensive ticket prices are not helping. Just over 30,000 watched last week's win over Samoa and Kidney believes that is hampering his team. "If it's a full house when you come out, the adrenaline flows more freely," he said.

The All Blacks will ensure a much better atmosphere on Saturday and perhaps that will bring out the best in Ireland. Captain Brian O'Driscoll, who became the most capped centre in Test history by making his 104th international appearance last week, may once again hold the key.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

• Ireland have never beaten New Zealand. The All Blacks have won 22 of the 23 meetings, with one draw.

• The draw came in January 1973, finishing 10-10 at Lansdowne Road.

Ireland

• Ireland's 20-10 win against Samoa last week ended a run of four straight defeats.

• Ireland need four more penalty goals to reach 800 in Test history.

New Zealand

• New Zealand have won 17 of their last 18 Tests.

• The All Blacks have scored at least one try in their last 82 internationals.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Ireland:

15-Robert Kearney, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12-Gordon D'Arcy, 11-Luke Fitzgerald, 10-Jonathan Sexton, 9-Eoin Reddan; 1-Cian Healy, 2-Rory Best, 3-Tom Court, 4-Donncha O'Callaghan, 5-Mick O'Driscoll, 6-Stephen Ferris, 7-David Wallace, 8-Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-John Hayes, 18-Devin Toner, 19-Denis Leamy, 20-Peter Stringer, 21-Ronan O'Gara, 22-Keith Earls.

New Zealand:

15-Mils Muliaina, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 11-Hosea Gear, 10-Daniel Carter, 9-Andy Ellis; 1-Tony Woodcock, 2-Hikawera Elliot, 3-Owen Franks, 4-Brad Thorn, 5-Tom Donnelly, 6-Jerome Kaino, 7-Richie McCaw, 8-Kieran Read.

Replacements: 16-Andrew Hore, 17-John Afoa, 18-Anthony Boric, 19-Liam Messam, 20-Alby Mathewson, 21-Stephen Donald, 22-Sonny Bill Williams.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Marius Jonker (England)

Touch judges: Craig Joubert (South Africa) & Carlo Damasco (Italy)

TV: Hugh Watkins (Wales)

ONES TO WATCH
Richie McCaw
RICHIE McCAW (New Zealand)
Flanker, aged 29
He and Mils Muliaina will beat Sean Fitzpatrick's record of 92 Test caps for the All Blacks
Made his Test debut in 2001 against Ireland at the age of 20
Has skippered the All Blacks in a record 55 tests
Brian O'Driscoll
BRIAN O'DRISCOLL (Ireland)
Centre, aged 31
The most-capped centre in Test history and Ireland's all-time leading try scorer
Has scored two tries in eight Tests against NZ
Captained the Lions against NZ in 2005


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see also
Ireland select Sexton to face NZ
18 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ferris says Ireland can beat NZ
17 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ryan three-week ban for stamping
16 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Kidney relieved after Ireland win
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 20-10 Samoa
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union


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