Strong All Blacks team expected once again
James Mortimer 22 Nov 2013 Getty Images
Wyatt Crockett or Charles Faumuina could start up front, while the potential swansong of Andrew Hore could see him named in the front row in Dublin.
Luke Romano’s availability could see a change in the second row, while there could be a temptation to play Steven Luatua, but the forward pack is expected to feature the bulk of its incumbents led by Richie McCaw and Kieran Read.
Outside of Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden fighting it off to start at first five-eighth, there is also the conundrum as to who starts at wing, with the typical tour factors like tiredness not a major factor for the squad.
Foster said usually this would be a big part of selecting a team on the road.
“It's always on your mind as a selector,” he said.
“Trying to figure out where the team's at and looking at fatigue versus freshness.”
With an unbeaten record against Ireland to defend, Foster said that a strong team would be unveiled, although it was important to ensure competition was fresh and the vibe of the group strong.
“We've been consistent through the last couple of years with strategy,” he said.
“We want to put out our strongest team every week. Sometimes that means we don't make any changes, sometimes we make two or three where we feel the right thing is to bring a bit more energy into the unit.
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