All blacks will not change my approach



The All Blacks are in the city and Ireland is about to write history.

Johnny Sexton says it does not make sense to pretend it is not a special exercise.

Andy Farrell, the defense coach, thinks the atmosphere is growing as you would expect if the world's number one side in the city is.

New Zealand coach Steven Hansen claims that it is a battle for the title of the best team in the world, as Ireland is number two.

Keith Earls did not get the memo in one way or another.

"Yes, I'm not that enthusiastic about who we play anymore," says Ireland's winger.

"Most games make me enthusiastic.

"I do not like to build certain games and every rugby game I try to prepare myself and show respect for every team we play against.

"Just because it is the All Blacks, I will not change much."

It is not that the 31-year-old does not take his job seriously, or that he does not command enough respect, it is that he can see that there are rugby games and that there are important things in life.

"I will see my children later, they will get rid of me", he says with the thought of putting a smile on his face.

"I certainly do not like to think about the game, I like to watch the game and train when I'm in training hours, but outside of that I do not even think about Saturday.

"I am now in training and we end and we go home and I enjoy going home to become a father and a husband, which is also an exciting part of my week."

The Munster man is in line for his 72nd cap, if he leaves on Saturday.

He even missed the last few games against the All Blacks, including the win and the defeat in 2016, but says it is a topic of conversation within the group.

"It always pops up," he says about the 40-29 victory in Chicago.

"You go back and look at the video's about how you broke them and how they broke us.

"We looked at it and we watched the game that was played in the Aviva.

"Look, that was two years ago and many of the guys who played in that game are not playing here now and it is up to this group to try a result against them at home.

"It's something we've never done before, defeating New Zealand at home, which would be nice to check out, but it's a huge challenge.

"They are incredibly dangerous.

"They are one of those teams where if you blink for a second, you are behind your own post a few times."

Should Rob Kearney, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, not form the team, then Sexton is the only remaining back of the starting team that played against the All Blacks in 2016.

Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo and Conor Murray all miss for various reasons.

The New Zealand-born center Bundee Aki will probably keep its place and have made 25 appearances, because the Chiefs know a thing or two about Saturday's opponents.

"He is a tough boy, is not he?" Says Earls of the 28-year-old.

"He never gives up, I think his communication on the field is phenomenal.

"He just talks non-stop across the field and he just makes the game easier for the guys he plays with."

Follow Ireland v New Zealand via our liveblog on RTÉ.ie / sports and the News Now app, watch live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 this Saturday (kick-off 7 pm)


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