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TOKYO (AP) — Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown will combine in midfield in the most vexed selection in the All Blacks team named Thursday to play Ireland Saturday in a Rugby World Cup quarterfinal.
New Zealand had four strong options for two midfield positions, choosing Goodhue after only 11 tests and Lienert-Brown, who has been among its best players at the tournament. Sonny Bill Williams is on the bench to add off-loading ability late in the game while veteran Ryan Crotty was omitted.
Goodhue has struggled throughout the tournament with a minor hamstring strain but is a line-breaker who fits better into the All Blacks’ intended game plan.
Richie Mo’unga starts at flyhalf, at age 25 joining Grant
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