Rugby World Cup 2019: Brodie Retallick returns for All Blacks quarter-final against Ireland

The All Blacks will welcome Brodie Retallick back to the starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with Ireland in Tokyo on Saturday.

So far in Japan, the linchpin lock has been limited to just 30 minutes against lowly Namibia, as he's worked his way back from a shoulder injury suffered during the Rugby Championship.

Coach Steve Hansen had committed to giving Retallick a further 60 minutes against Italy in their final pool game, only to be denied by the Typhoon Hagibis-enforced cancellation.

"He can play 80 [minutes] if that's what we want, but it'll be unlikely," Hansen said, after the squad announcement.

"Brodie is a bit of a freak, when it comes to fitness - he has what we call a big motor. He can play, whether he has had a short or long break."

In the backs, Anton Lienert-Brown and Jack Goodhue have won the starting midfield combination nod, with Sonny Bill Williams to impact from the bench.

All three of the Barrett brothers will feature yet again, with Jordie Barrett - who impressed in his start at first-five against Namibia - claiming a bench spot ahead of 83-test veteran Ben Smith.

Hansen said that while he liked what he'd seen from both players, Barrett has an extra string to his bow that could prove critical at this juncture of the tournament.

"He's a big goal-kicker. He can kick goals from well inside his own half, he can drop-kick goals from halfway at a drop of a hat.

"Those are the things that you've got to take into account when you're playing a big game."

The back three remains a Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece and George Bridge affair, while the loose forward trio is again comprised of Ardie Savea, captain Kieran Read and Sam Cane.

Codie Taylor has been preferred as the run-on hooker and will pack down alongside Joe Moody and Nepo Laulala. Angus Ta'avao, Ofa Tuungafasi and Dane Coles will play off the pine.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Brodie Retallick returns for All Blacks quarter-final against Ireland

Red-hot lock Scott Barrett will provide plenty of impetus off the reserves bench, with flanker Matt Todd set to do the same behind Cane.

In addition to Smith, the most notable omission is midfelder Ryan Crotty, whose big-game experience was widely expected to earn him a spot in the game-day squad at the very least.

Five forwards - Read, Retallick, Savea, Taylor and Sam Whitelock - have been retained from the starting line-up for their 16-9 loss against Joe Schmidt's side last November.

Halfback Smith, Beauden Barrett (who played five-eighth) and centre Goodhue are the only survivors from the starting backline for that game, which was the first time Ireland had beaten New Zealand in Dublin.

The winners will advance to face either England or Australia in the first semi-final at Yokohama City next Saturday.

Join us at 11:15pm Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Ireland Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Newshub.

 

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