Ireland: Bundee Aki the only change for crunch match against the All Blacks

David Skippers

Bundee Aki comes into Ireland’s starting line-up at inside centre as the only change for their series decider against New Zealand at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.

Aki is named as a replacement for Garry Ringrose, who is injured, and will form a centre combination with Robbie Henshaw.

Meanwhile, veteran Johnny Sexton continues to captain the side from fly-half and is set to make his 108th appearance for his country, equalling the tally of former Ireland second-row and captain Paul O’Connell.

Scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park joins Sexton in the half-backs while Hugo Keenan continues at full-back alongside Mack Hansen and James Lowe, who are the starting wings.

Same again in the pack

In the forwards, head coach Andy Farrell has continued with the same players who started in the first two Tests in Auckland and Dunedin.

Caelan Doris starts at number eight and he is joined by Peter O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier, who are the two flankers, while Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan continue their partnership in the second-row.

In the front-row, Dan Sheehan packs down at hooker while fellow Leinstermen Andrew Porter and Tadhg Furlong are the starting props.

On the replacements bench, Rob Herring, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Kieran Treadwell and Jack Conan are the forward reserves while Conor Murray, Joey Carbery and Keith Earls will cover the backline.

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Keith Earls

Date: Saturday, July 16
Venue: Sky Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:05 local (08:05 BST, 07:05 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (Wales)

READ MORE: All Blacks: Sam Whitelock returns from concussion to start series decider against Ireland


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