All Blacks legend Richie McCaw believes New Zealand would be prepared to dispense with their policy of only appointing head coaches from within if they deem Joe Schmidt to be the best possible successor to Steve Hansen. It has been two years since we've played them last but there has been a lot of changeover from our team.
"And, while Chicago was a great band-aid, in fact it was a full bandage - it was great but two weeks later we were very, very much in the game and it was very tough - very, very tough".
He was among the players released to their provinces as coach Joe Schmidt took a smaller group to Chicago for their opening autumn worldwide against Italy. But Conor has that incredible capacity to exit us well, give us the free-flow and whip out a pass that makes him a world-class player.
"I think it demonstrates that we need to get the vehicle tuned", Schmidt said.
It will also be the last time Ireland face southern hemisphere opposition before they depart for the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
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"Kieran just rolled his ankle a little bit", said Schmidt.
"If Conor were to come back in, I have no doubt in my mind that he would be back firing on all cylinders if he steps back in to play", said Henderson.
The All Blacks needed a converted try in injury time to claim a 24-22 triumph in Dublin five years ago, before Ireland ended a 111-year losing streak to New Zealand in 2016 when they ran in five tries to secure a remarkable 40-29 win in Chicago. It is why they win so often: they don't dwell on being brilliant, they don't play aspirational rugby: their mission is to get so many things right that they can't be beaten by their mistakes. I've only got to play against them under Joe [Schmidt] for however long Joe has been in charge, three times. "If he says he's right to play, let him play".
"In Pretoria, when they came from behind, (the Springboks) are on New Zealand's line, they're 12 points up with 10 minutes to go and you think 'Game over.' They turn it over, go the length of the pitch and score".
He also played just six games for the Blues and was under scrutiny for underperforming when he did take to the field, although Hansen added that he was the type of player whose form improves with matches.