Ireland’s Chances Of Repeating All Blacks Glory In Dublin Just Took A Blow
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Ireland host the All Blacks in Dublin on November 19th as they bid for revenge following the defeat in Chicago.
Both sides headed into the game with a number of key players missing, but no player was missed more than New Zealand’s Brodie Retallick. The former World Player of the Year missed the game with a concussion, and his absence was duly noted.
The monster lock however, is closing in on a return as his side looks to bounce back against Italy this Saturday. After taking part in light training this week, he could be back in a black shirt when they face Conor O’Shea’s Azzuri at the Stadio Olimpico.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Chiefs second-row said things are looking good.
“So far, so good,”
“I am running fine but have not done any contact or collision stuff yet. The next couple of days will be critical.”
It is unlikely head coach Steve Hansen will name his strongest available side this weekend as they could target next week’s game against Ireland in Dublin, where revenge will definitely be in the air.
Assistant coach Ian Foster echoed that argument when speaking on Tuesday.
“Our belief has always been that we need a lot of freshness to get our performance right,” Foster said.
“Coming off a loss – that hurts. But it doesn’t change our attitude about using the full resources of our squad to get through this tour. If you bring guys over you really want to give them an opportunity.”
Will the return of Retallick be too much for Ireland? Only time will tell.