Beauden Barrett has revealed New Zealand are on guard for Ireland unleashing some Joe Schmidt special moves on Saturday.
Ireland’s Kiwi coach Schmidt has been concocting one-off plays for years with great success, and the All Blacks are expecting to face some new tricks in Dublin.
Fly-half Barrett admitted New Zealand still bear scars from their maiden loss to Ireland, the 40-29 defeat in Chicago in 2016, remaining increasingly wary of Schmidt’s men since.
“They’re playing well, they’re very creative, so that gets us in a good mental spot for this coming week and whenever we play them in future.
“When you do lose in an All Black jersey it’s never nice. We can draw from those experiences, just a small reminder of how we felt in that changing room, to always respect Ireland.”
Two of the nominees for World Rugby’s world player of the year will go head-to-head at fly-half at the Aviva Stadium.
Barrett has scooped the award for the last two years running, but Ireland’s Johnny Sexton could well now deny him a hat-trick.
Sexton has helped Leinster to the PRO14 and Champions Cup double, and spearheaded Ireland’s Six Nations Grand Slam charge.
The British and Irish Lions star ranks among the world’s best tactical fly-halves, leaving Barrett expecting a tough examination this weekend.
“Weather conditions have a big influence up here so that’s a great test,” said Barrett.
“Your tactics as a team have to change so how we drive the team we have to adapt on the go.
“We are so used to play an expansive game down in the southern hemisphere so it’s always a test for a Kiwi fly-half coming up here and experiencing something different.”