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Carbery in line for Ireland debut vs NZ

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/10/2016 Nick Purewal

Ireland's shot at stopping the rampant All Blacks in Chicago will probably involve uncapped Leinster first five-eighth Joey Carbery.

Carbery has just nine senior club appearances to his name and turns 21 on Tuesday but he could now take a seat on Ireland's bench for Saturday's Test against the double world champions.

Ulster's Paddy Jackson will miss the USA trip due to personal reasons, leaving prodigious talent Carbery the most likely understudy to Johnny Sexton.

Ireland, who are bidding to deny New Zealand a 19th consecutive victory, will also be without a trio of influential forwards. Sean O'Brien, Iain Henderson and Peter O'Mahony, who are injured.

Sexton should start Saturday's match at Soldier Field, supported by Carbery, who has leapfrogged the French-based Ian Madigan.

Ireland would ideally have to eased Carbery's transition but his form in the PRO12 championship suggests he boasts the requisite skills to cope in the Test arena.

Leinster flanker O'Brien has only just returned from long-term hamstring trouble and has been deemed not quite ready for Test rugby.

Ireland will hope the combative loose-forward will be available for selection by the time they face New Zealand again, in Dublin on November 19.

The trimmed-down 27-man squad announced by Ireland's New Zealand coach Joe Schmidt features 16-Test outside back Jared Payne, a New Zealander who is yet to play against the All Blacks.

Ireland squad: Rory Best (capt), Finlay Bealham, Joey Carbery, Sean Cronin, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Craig Gilroy, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Robbie Henshaw, Billy Holland, Rob Kearney, Kieran Marmion, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Conor Murray, Jared Payne, Garry Ringrose, Donnacha Ryan, John Ryan, Jonathan Sexton, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Andrew Trimble, Josh van der Flier, Simon Zebo.

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