Members of the Irish camp are fully aware of the significance of a victory against Australia as they edge closer to their deciding matchup on Saturday.
Today saw the unveiling of the lineups for Saturday’s third and final test match between Ireland and Australia with both sides set to come out as follows:
Australia – Israel Folau; Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; David Pocock, Michael Hooper (capt), Lukhan Tui; Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda; Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Scott Sio.
Reserves: Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Joe Powell, Reece Hodge.
Ireland – Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack Conan, Peter O’Mahony (capt), CJ Stander; James Ryan, Devin Toner; Tadhg Furlong, Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath.
Reserves: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Jordi Murphy, Kieran Marmion, Ross Byrne, Jordan Larmour.
With both sides having registered a win so far, everything is left to play for as this series comes to an end. The Six Nations champions, who trail only world title-holders New Zealand in the international standings, haven’t won a series in Australia since they swept a two-Test tour in 1979.
Ireland’s forwards coach Simon Easterby had the following to say on the value of getting the victory come Saturday.
“I guess it offers an opportunity, away from home, to play for something special; something that hasn’t been done in 39 years. To win a Test series in the southern hemisphere is a difficult thing to do.
“We know, we found that out in South Africa when we were 1-0 up and we came away with a 2-1 loss (in 2016). These experiences are great for what will hopefully happen in 15-16 months’ time (at the World Cup).”
Robbie Henshaw doubled down on the importance of making a statement by getting the job done and ending a drought that has lasted a grand total of 39 years.
“It would be a massive statement for us, we’re currently ranked second in the world and we have to go out there and show the world why we’re second.
“We have a great chance for us to come here and create history and win a series.
“Australia are going to come out firing, there’s definitely going to be a massive reaction to how they went last week and we have to match that.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena