Fri. Aug 19th, 2022

James Lowe celebrates during Ireland's victory against the All Blacks last November.

Charles McQuillan / Getty Images

James Lowe celebrates during Ireland’s victory against the All Blacks last November.

Ireland have named New Zealand-born duo James Lowe and Jamison Gibson-Park in their side to face the All Blacks at Eden Park.

Lowe and Gibson-Park both started against the All Blacks in Dublin in November and take their spots in an experienced Ireland side that will be captained by No 10 Johnny Sexton on Saturday.

Former Chiefs midfielder Bundee Aki, who captained Ireland against the Māori All Blacks on Wednesday, has been named on the bench.

Veteran winger Keith Earls has won the race to No 14 jersey after Mack Hansen was ruled out due to a positive Covid-19 test earlier this week.

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Lowe and Gibson-Park played starring roles in the All Blacks’ defeat in Dublin, and have established themselves as key members of the Ireland squad.

Ireland’s game plan, however, will continue to revolve around Sexton, who has announced that he will retire after the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023.

The All Blacks will be warm favorites for the game after Ireland picked up several injuries in their loss to the Maori All Blacks on Wednesday.

However, loosehead Cian Healy has surprisingly been named on the Ireland bench, despite picking up what appeared to be a serious injury in Hamilton

Ireland: Hugo Keenan, Keith Earls, Gary Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe, Johnny Sexton (c), Jamison Gibson-Park, Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Peter O’Mahony, James Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Tadhg Furlong, Dan Sheehan , Andrew Porter. Reserves: Dan Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Cian Healy, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Bundee Aki

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