Scott Barrett wary of 'physical game' from Ireland

Scott Barrett will start at Blindside for New Zealand
Scott Barrett will start at Blindside for New Zealand
©Steve Haag

All Blacks back row Scott Barrett admits that his side is wary of the physical challenge from Ireland as the two teams meet each other in Auckland on Saturday for the first Test.

The last time these two teams met was in Dublin during the November Tests last year where Andy Farrell's men recorded a 29-20 win riding on tries from James Lowe, Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris.

It was also Ireland's third win over New Zealand in the last five matches between them which was significant for them considering they have never beaten the All Blacks before 2016.

"We expect a lot of the same, they really back their style of play," he told the All Blacks' official website.

"They're a great attacking team and they put the ball on a plate for the likes of Jonny Sexton. It's up to us as forwards to make sure we slow the ball down as best we can and do a job in that area because when they get a roll on it is quite hard to stop".

The weekend's game will also see Barrett shifted to blindside for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat to England and the Crusaders captain is not expecting anything different from Ireland.

"England brought it then and we're expecting Ireland is going to be right into it from the start so I am excited by that," he said.

Following the game at Eden Park, the two teams will be heading to Dunedin for the second game on 9th July with the series coming to an end with the final Test in Wellington on 16th July.