FOUR Munster players have been included in Joe Schmidt’s starting line-up for Ireland’s opening autumn international fixture against the All-Blacks at Soldier Field, Chicago on Saturday, 8pm Irish time.
Simon Zebo has been named on the left wing for the clash with the World Champions, while scrum-half Conor Murray partners Johnny Sexton at half-back.
In the pack, Donnacha Ryan starts in the second row, while is Munster colleague CJ Stander has been named at blindside flanker.
Limerick native Sean Cronin, of Leinster, is listed among the replacements for Saturday evening’s game.
Ireland have never beaten the All Blacks, who extended their winning streak to a record 18 matches by recently beating Australia 37-10.
IRELAND: Rob Kearney (Leinster); Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Rob Henshaw (Leinster), Simon Zebo (Munster); Johnny Sexton (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster); Jack McGrath (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster); Devin Toner (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster); CJ Stander (Munster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster). Replacements: Sean Cronin (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Ultan Dillane (Connacht), Josh van der Flier (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Joey Carbery (Leinster), Gary Ringrose (Leinster).
NEW ZEALAND: Ben Smith; Waisake Naholo, George Moala, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks; Patrick Tuipulotu, Jerome Kaino; Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (captain). Replacements: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Charlie Faumuina,Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa.