The Latest: Ireland name 12 who started in recent win vs NZ
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Thursday at the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):
Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton will set a national record for a halfback pairing when they lead the Ireland attack in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against defending champion New Zealand.
Ireland has lost all seven knockout games at has played at the Rugby World Cup, and is aiming to reach the semifinals for the first time. Its first two wins over New Zealand — at Chicago in 2016 and in Dublin last year, has the Ireland team growing in confidence.
Murray and flyhalf Sexton will combine for the 56th time in test rugby, beating Ireland’s all-time record of 55 held by Peter Stringer and Ronan O’Gara.
Head coach Joe Schmidt made three changes to the starting XV that beat Samoa in the last of the Pool A games, recalling Rob Kearny at fullback, bringing Garry Ringrose into the centers to replace suspended Bundee Aki and returning Peter O’Mahony to the backrow at the expense of Tadhg Beirne.
Robbie Henshaw moves from 13 to 12 to make room for Ringrose in midfield.
Twelve of the starting XV also started in the 16-9 victory against the All Blacks last November.