Kaino gets his chance

Blindside flanker Jerome Kaino will make his first Test start for New Zealand against Ireland on Saturday.

Kaino, who came on as a replacement in Hamilton, is preferred to Marty Holah as one of three changes made by coach Graham Henry for the Auckland clash.

Lock Troy Flavell is rewarded for scoring the winning try by being promoted from the bench, while centre Casey Laulala comes in for Ma’a Nonu.

“Changes have always been part of the plan for this series,” Henry said. “One of our goals has been to see a lot of players on the park, so this is part of a process.

“The challenge is to make sure our performance continues to improve while we make changes.”

Winger Scott Hamilton, who was an unused replacement in Hamilton, drops out of the squad to join the team which will play Argentina in Buenos Aires on 24 June.

Hooker Anton Oliver will also be leaving with that side on Thursday, so Andrew Hore will sit among the replacements, alongside loose forward Craig Newby – who was overlooked for the initial 22 – so Holah misses out altogether.

New Zealand: Muliaina, Howlett, Laulala, Mauger, Rokocoko, McAlister, Kelleher; So’oialo, McCaw (captain), Kaino, Flavell, Jack, Hayman, Mealamu, Dermody.
Replacements: Cowan, Rawlinson, Tialata, Hore, Newby, Hill, Nonu.