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'That fear is gone' - former Blues star backing another Irish upset over All Blacks

After their famous win in Chicago back in 2016, Ireland aren't as afraid of facing the All Blacks as they once were, former Blues star Isa Nacewa believes.

Having plied his trade in New Zealand with Auckland and the Blues from 2003 to 2008, Nacewa enjoyed a 10-year stint playing in Ireland, widely considered among the best players to ever represent Munster, coached at the time by Joe Schmidt.

With considerable time spent in both nations, Nacewa possesses a rare insight into the inner workings of the game in both New Zealand and Ireland, noting the changes in the European powerhouse since that famous 2016 win.

Speaking to Fairfax, Nacewa says that the Chicago upset has changed the foundations of rugby in Ireland, who now assert themselves as one of the best sides on the planet.

"That fear is gone," Nacewa began.

"It's been replaced with a burning desire to win again and I really think playing at home is a huge advantage - coupled with the fact they have class all over the park.

"They are beyond a chance, and I don't think people down this part of the world really grasp just how different the mindset is for Ireland since that Chicago game.

"I'm tipping an Irish win, 21-10."

ESPN's rugby experts are also picking an Ireland win.

The All Blacks and Ireland will meet in Dublin tomorrow morning NZT.

Ryan Crotty and Dane Coles say Ireland are a well-tuned machine who have a strong all-round game. Source: 1 NEWS


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