Best handed Ireland recall

Ireland have made two changes to the starting XV which helped clinch the Triple Crown by beating England in March for Saturday's first Test against New Zealand at Waikato Stadium. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Ireland have made two changes to the starting XV which helped clinch the Triple Crown by beating England in March for Saturday’s first Test against New Zealand at Waikato Stadium.

Ulster flanker Neil Best comes in for his third cap to replace the injured Simon Easterby while Donncha O’Callaghan takes over from Malcolm O’Kelly (groin) in the second row.

Bryan Young and Isaac Boss – the only uncapped players in the 22-man squad – have been included as the replacement prop and scrum-half respectively.

Boss formerly played for the Chiefs and the Hurricanes in his native New Zealand but now represents Ulster and qualifies for Ireland through his grandmother.

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan said Boss had earned his place on the bench.

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The coach said: "He wasn’t making the Ulster team for a while, in and out, but since he got a foothold in the team he’s improved all along. His form came very good at the end of the year.

"He’s played his way in here and been very impressive."

Ireland team to face New Zealand in Hamilton on Saturday: Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers); Shane Horgan (Leinster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster, captain), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster); Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Peter Stringer (Munster); Marcus Horan (Munster), Jerry Flannery (Munster), John Hayes (Munster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Neil Best (Ulster), David Wallace (Munster), Denis Leamy (Munster).

Replacements: Rory Best (Ulster), Bryan Young (Ulster), Mick O’Driscoll (Munster), Keith Gleeson (Leinster), Isaac Boss (Ulster), Denis Hickie (Leinster), Girvan Dempsey (Leinster).

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