Preparation, physical tussle key against All Blacks, says Ireland's Best

Stander and O'Mahony are among the first names on the teamsheet

Stander and O'Mahony are among the first names on the teamsheet

The All Blacks escaped from Twickenham unscathed last weekend, despite going 15-0 down to England.

And, still, Read demanded on Friday another step up for the kind of challenge they relish.

"We're going to need the best performance of our season, the way the Irish have been playing", said the number eight.

"I think it'll be an awesome Test match, and that's what I'm looking forward to".

"The Irish are undoubtedly the best side up here (in the northern hemisphere) at the moment, so to challenge ourselves in their conditions is an exciting one for us".

'We're in a good space mentally so it's about being ready physically to get the job done'.

The superb break from Matias Orlando which saw Ramiro Moyano hauled down just metres from the Irish line led to a Bautista Delguy try as they spread the ball wide from the next phase where Ireland were found backtracking and too narrow. Ireland might not be able to become the first side since 2009 to topple the All Blacks from their perch atop the world rankings, but a win would send shockwaves through the sport.

Generally, Ireland scramble very well but with a dry track expected at the Aviva Stadium, they won't be able to rely on any handling errors from Steve Hansen's side. 'For us, we'll need to be strong at set piece, both on our ball and theirs, and be prepared to work hard with or without the ball.

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IRELAND - -R Kearney (J Larmour 66); K Earls, G Ringrose, B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton (J Carbery 77), K Marmion (L McGrath 59); C Healy (J McGrath 52), R Best (capt) (S Cronin 65), T Furlong (A Porter 65); D Toner (I Henderson 62), J Ryan; P O'Mahony, J van der Flier, CJ Stander. "Continuing their cloak-and-dagger approach to medical updates Leavy is said to be out with 'a general tightness", with the Union ludicrously citing GDPR as a reason for the smokescreen.

"You are talking about a quality player in Josh van der Flier", Best added. Jordi Murphy has come into the reserves.

Asked how to stop Ireland suffocating his side with possession, Hansen replied: "You hang on to it yourself; have a crack at them at source".

"Probably the area of their game that doesn't get as much credit is their physicality, they are incredibly physical in the tackle area and the carry and at the breakdown", he said.

Still, Ireland recognised that they needed to play in the right areas.

"So you know that if you don't match that, with the talent they've got across the pitch, it's going to be tough".

This will have a huge bearing on the game and if Ireland can get the upper hand in this regard, it will give them the opportunity of pulling off a famous win.

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