Keith Earls will captain Ireland for the first time when Andy Farrell's side face the Maori All Blacks in Wellington on Tuesday.

The Maoris eased to a 32-17 victory in the first warm-up meeting before Ireland responded to a comprehensive Test defeat against New Zealand by defeating the All Blacks away from home for the first time.

That teed up a winner-takes-all decider at the Sky Stadium on Saturday but Ireland clash with the Maoris once more before the Test series decider against New Zealand.

Farrell previously hinted at rotation to offer his second-string side valuable minutes on the tour, and he has made just three changes to his last team that lost to the Maoris in Hamilton.

Stuart McCloskey comes into midfield to partner Earls, who is Ireland's second-highest try scorer of all time, while Michael Lowry is another introduction at full-back.

The start for Lowry means Jimmy O'Brien will move to the left wing, while forward Niall Scannell replaces the concussed Dave Heffernan.

Jeremy Loughman has also been named in the starting side despite suffering concussion in the first meeting just two weeks ago, with Ed Byrne expected to make his first appearance off the bench.

Farrell hopes Ireland can find form in their warm-up against the Maoris and believes there is no player more deserving of captaining Ireland than Earls.

"For the likes of him, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, well everyone really, their attitudes have been top class and there has only been one thing on their mind and that is, 'how can we help the team-mates, how can we make the fellas who are starting in advance of them better?'," he told reporters.

"There is no more deserving man to captain Ireland against the Maoris than Keith.

"He was not as shocked as Bundee [Aki, to be named captain] but he has always been a leader, Keith, especially over the last five or six years that I have known him.

"He has always been curious about how he can learn more, such as edge defence as an example, or what more he can learn about back three play in general. He is able to get across at 13 no problem.

"He has always been one who has been able to take people with him, always one who wants to share and help. That has been at the forefront of his attitude for the last five or six years that I have known him and he will bring all that to the forefront on Tuesday night."

Ireland team: Michael Lowry; Jordan Larmour, Keith Earls, Stuart McCloskey, Jimmy O’Brien, Ciaran Frawley, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, Tom O’Toole, Joe McCarthy, Kieran Treadwell, Cian Prendergast, Nick Timoney, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Mack Hansen.

England head coach Eddie Jones says rugby union's laws are "out of control" after a high number of cards were again issued across this weekend's Test matches.

Jones saw up close two players get sin-binned in England's 25-17 win over Australia on Saturday as Marcus Smith and Izaia Perese were penalised for deliberate knock-ons.

The 62-year-old did not feel either player deserved to be issued a yellow card, which was also the general view of spectators watching on.

Referee Jaco Peyper was even more card happy in Ireland's historic away win in New Zealand, meanwhile, dishing out three yellows and a red in the first half alone in Dunedin.

On the back of another day of contentious decisions, Jones has called for "common sense" to prevail from officials.

"The game's out of control," he said. "You saw the New Zealand and Ireland Test – at one stage, commentators couldn't count how many players were on the field! 

"You had three backs packing a scrum. We've gone the full hog where everything's a red card, yellow card and there needs to be some common sense.

"I picked the referee's pocket [before the game] – he had plenty of cards in it."

While Jones was adamant neither Smith nor Perese should have been cautioned, opposite number Dave Rennie said he could understand the referee's call.

"There's no doubt Izzy is trying to catch it," Rennie said. "It's certainly different from an intentional slap down, but I have no issue with that decision."

Head coach Andy Farrell says his "little old Ireland" can compete with anyone in the world after setting up a series decider with New Zealand.

Ireland were comprehensively defeated in the first Test against the All Blacks, losing 42-19, but responded with a 23-12 victory in the second meeting to claim their first away win in New Zealand on Saturday.

Victory in Dunedin teed up a winner-takes-all decider at the Sky Stadium in Wellington next weekend, with New Zealand looking to set the record straight and seal the series win on the North Island.

While Farrell expects another tough task, the 47-year-old insists Ireland will not shy away from the challenge as they fancy themselves against any side in the world.

"We always get a response, don't we?" he said. "Everyone knows that, history tells you that. We're used to it by now. We'll look forward to that.

"We've created a little bit of history for ourselves, little old Ireland, but we've earned the right to take it to the last weekend to see what we can do in the final week.

"The players back themselves against anyone and the more we can keep giving them, these occasions of playing the best teams in the world, the better they're going to get."

The task for Ireland in the second Test was somewhat eased by the first-half dismissal of New Zealand prop Angus Ta'avao.

Ireland did have to absorb some pressure in the second half, though, and Farrell pinpointed their defensive resolve as proof of the continued development of his side.

"I suppose the most impressive thing that we are doing pretty well at this moment in time is understanding where we're at, each moment at a time and staying calm and not getting too overawed or frustrated with errors or decisions or not executing," he continued.

"We're pretty good at trying to stay neutral and stay on task and it's helping us to play in these big games and compete."

A second-string Ireland team were defeated 32-17 by the Maori All Blacks at the end of June in Hamilton, and Farrell also plans to offer those players a chance to make amends against the same team on Tuesday.

"There are bigger things to think about in regard of this tour for us," he added.

"We've some young lads in that changing room that have been inspired by these lot [the Test team], who want to get back out there again on Tuesday night and perform well against the Maoris.

"These lads have taken a lot of pain, that's what we've put them under, the pressure of taking them out of their comfort zone.

"The weeks have been totally different to what they've been used to before because of us trying to play five games in such a short space of time and there's been no whinging.

"They've been mentally really tough and they'll back the lads up as well to make sure they're in good form for Tuesday night."

Josh Adams scored a late try as Wales claimed a dramatic 13-12 victory over South Africa to level the series in Bloemfontein.

Wales secured their first away win over the Springboks in 12 attempts after Adams went over in the corner with Gareth Anscombe converting with just over a minute remaining at the Toyota Stadium.

Wayne Pivac's side had lost their four previous Tests away from home, but they went into the break level at 3-3 following a scrappy first half in which Dan Biggar and Handre Pollard exchanged kicks.

Pollard was captaining the reigning World champions after Jacques Nienaber made 14 changes from the narrow 32-29 win in the first Test last weekend.

The Montpellier fly-half kicked a further nine points as the hosts edged closer to maintaining their record of having never lost a three-Test series on home soil when winning the opener.

But Wales did well to hold their own with a numerical disadvantage after Alun Wyn Jones was controversially sin-binned; the replacement deemed to have been cynical with his hands in the breakdown.

Upon his return, the visitors launched one final surge and following a neat build-up, Anscombe - who had earlier split the uprights with a penalty to keep Wales in striking distance - offloaded for Adams to cross in the corner.

Anscombe subsequently held his nerve under the most intense pressure to convert from a tight angle; his nation recording their first Test victory in South Africa since overcoming Japan at the 1995 World Cup.

Eddie Jones said silencing Australia's supporters was a "great feeling" after England claimed a 25-17 victory in Brisbane to level the three-match series.

England had lost their past four games heading into the second Test at Suncorp Stadium, including a defeat to the Barbarians. They were jolted by last week's 30-28 loss to Australia in Perth but responded in style on Saturday.

Billy Vunipola crossed over early on for England's only try and Owen Farrell kicked four penalties to give the visitors a 19-0 first-half lead.

Taniela Tupou reduced the arrears before the interval and Samu Kerevi walked in a second, either side of a couple more Farrell penalties, but England saw out the victory.

After getting one over on his country of birth and the team he previously managed for four years, Jones admitted he took great joy from leaving the home hordes disappointed.

"I love coaching at Suncorp Stadium, it's a good experience," Jones said. "You've got 48,000 people all full of drink and all they want to see is their team win.

"When you turn them away, it's a great experience. A great feeling. I was coming out from the coaches' box and they all have their scarves on.

"When did Australians start wearing scarves? It's all the rage, isn't it? They are not so smart now.

"Before the game they are coming up saying to me, 'You are going to get belted tonight'. Now they are a little bit more quiet. So that's good. I enjoy that."

England have now won four of their past five games in Oceania, having won just one of the previous 12 away matches against teams from that continent.

Saturday's victory sets up a thrilling decider in Sydney next weekend, and Jones has no doubt it is the home side that will be under more pressure.

"It's 1-1. And the pressure's on the other mob now," he said. "So they've got to deal with that pressure. We'll find ways of getting better.

"It was a good effort by the boys. We just tightened our game up a little bit this week.

"The boys carried out the game-plan really well, and played with a lot of intensity, a lot of passion, and we had three new caps. Incredible.

"It's just time together. We're a very young, inexperienced team. It takes time to put things together, and we'll be more cohesive next week."

There was one big negative to come out of the game for Jones, however, as Maro Itoje failed to return to the field after undergoing a head injury assessment.

Itoje collided with Hunter Paisami shortly before the interval and Jones later confirmed the lock will play no part in the deciding Test.

"The medical situation with Maro is that he will be out next weekend," Jones said.

Prior to this weekend's fixtures, Itoje's 83 line-outs won in Tests since the beginning of 2021 was at least 21 more than any other player from a Tier One nation.

England held firm to overcome Australia 25-17 on Saturday as they snapped a three-game losing run and levelled up their three-match series Down Under.

The visitors let slip a commanding lead and a one-man advantage to lose 30-28 in last week's opening Test, but they responded in Brisbane with a resilient and aggressive display.

Australia made six changes to last week's winning side, many of them enforced, and England took full advantage by taking a 19-7 lead into half-time at Suncorp Stadium.

Billy Vunipola crossed over inside five minutes following a spell of sustained early pressure and Owen Farrell added to the successful conversion with four penalties.

An undisciplined Australia, who also lost Izaia Perese for 10 minutes for a deliberate knock-on, gave themselves hope just before the interval when Taniela Tupou powered over.

Another Farrell penalty early in the second half gave England breathing space, only for Samu Kerevi to walk in from an overlap for the hosts' second try of the contest,

Australia finally had some momentum, and Noah Lolesio's penalty after Marcus Smith was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on made things even more interesting.

But three more points from the boot of Farrell put the game out of Australia's reach as England saw out just a second win in their past six matches away from home.

Head coach Andy Farrell was gushing with pride following Ireland's historic victory over New Zealand on Saturday.

The Irish, who were beaten 42-19 in the first Test last week, responded brilliantly by prevailing 23-12 in Dunedin for their first ever away win over the All Blacks.

Farrell's side opened up a 10-0 lead thanks to Andrew Porter's try and the right boot of Johnny Sexton, but that was cut to three points before half-time when Beauden Barrett went over for the hosts, who had Angus Ta'avao sent off following a clash of heads with Garry Ringrose.

Nevertheless, the visitors capitalised on their numerical advantage after the break. Porter crossed again with Sexton adding a further eight points, while Will Jordan's late try was a mere consolation for New Zealand as the Irish held out for a famous win.

And Farrell heaped praise on his players as they levelled the series ahead of the final Test in Wellington next week.

"I'm just pleased for the players because they're so desperate to inspire people back home, and they keep turning up time and time again and doing special things for Irish rugby and the Irish people," he told Sky Sports.

"I'm so glad they were able to get it over the line because it had a bit of everything, it was a courageous effort.

"We all know the All Blacks come out of the blocks; they're stronger, faster, and we were courageous, we hit the ground running right from the start.

"We didn't get sucked into the allure of the game. Going down to 14 men, and then going down to 13 men, we kept playing the right game in the right parts of the field and applying pressure. I'm just so proud of them.

"The main thing is we're learning how to deal with the pressures of the top-level game. Our composure's really good.

"Things are not always going to go sprightly for you, especially against the world's best, but our composure doesn't change when we make a mistake, and we got what we deserved.

"These lads have made history, but they've also earned the right to compete for a series."

Sexton added: "No Irish team has ever done it before. We are delighted, but it is all on the line next week. We have got a fantastic coaching team and they had us well up for the game. 

"We didn't give the best account of ourselves last week and the All Blacks punished us for our mistake, but they [the coaching team] put us in a really good place this week. We had to go and deliver, and we did that."

All eyes turn to what will be an exciting series finale at the Sky Stadium next week, and two-try scorer Porter insists he and his team-mates have nothing to lose.

"All that matters for us now is next week, but we will enjoy tonight," the prop said.

"Obviously we had an extra man for most of the game, so we will have to put in a better performance next week and give our supporters even more to cheer. 

"We have created a bit of history today, but it would be even sweeter if we could pull off the win next week as well. 

"We will take our learnings from today and throw everything at it. We have got nothing to lose."

Ireland secured a historic first away win over New Zealand as they defeated the 14-man All Blacks 23-12 in Dunedin on Saturday.

Andy Farrell's visitors found themselves on the wrong end of a comprehensive 42-19 All Blacks victory in the first Test last weekend, but Ireland managed to tie the series.

They were seemingly given a helping hand by the first-half dismissal of New Zealand prop Angus Ta'avao for a head clash with Ireland centre Garry Ringrose.

Ireland were already 10-0 to the good by that point thanks to Andrew Porter charging over early on, before Johnny Sexton – a controversial starter after failing an in-game head injury assessment last time out – added the extras and later scored a long-distance penalty.

The All Blacks did well to only trail by three points at the interval, with Beauden Barrett's converted try right at the end of a pulsating first half frustrating Ireland.

The 10-point advantage was restored by Porter's second try following great work by Bundee Aki down the right, and Sexton's conversion and two more penalties had Ireland 23-7 to the good.

Will Jordan crossed for New Zealand near the end, but it was too little, too late as Ireland sealed a famous win.

World Rugby has hit out at "irresponsible" safety campaigners who have criticised the governing body's head injury assessment (HIA) process.

Safety campaign group Progressive Rugby claimed the HIA protocols had been "exposed" after Johnny Sexton was passed fit to play in Ireland's second Test against New Zealand.

Ireland skipper Sexton was taken off with a head injury during last weekend's first Test, but he passed the subsequent HIA checks and was given the all-clear to play again on Saturday.

Responding to the criticism, World Rugby said in a statement on Thursday that the wellbeing of players is never put at risk.

"It is the duty of any individual or organisation commenting on the head injury assessment process to do so using the facts," the statement read.

"Attempting to diagnose a serious medical condition like concussion from afar, without all the relevant information including a player's medical history, is irresponsible and no substitute for the world-leading medical care received by elite rugby players.

"Doctors are supported by the head injury assessment and recently updated return-to-play protocols put in place by World Rugby. 

"These protocols are developed using scientific evidence and independent expert opinion which are kept under constant review, as we never stand still on player welfare."

As part of changes announced by World Rugby last month, players now face an increased minimum period of 12 days out of action should they be found to have suffered a concussion.

That has seen the likes of Tom Curry and Tomas Francis return home from England's and Wales' tours of Australia and South Africa respectively this week after sustaining such injuries in their opening Tests.

 

Wayne Pivac can understand the reasons behind South Africa naming an almost entirely new team to face Wales in their second Test but says his side will not take the second-string Springboks lightly.

Reigning world champions South Africa beat Wales 32-29 last weekend in Pretoria with the final kick of the ball in a thrilling start to the three-Test series.

The sides reconvene in Bloemfontein on Saturday in a game Wales, who have now lost three in a row against their opponents, must win to keep their hopes of a series triumph alive.

The hosts surprisingly named 14 changes to their side for this weekend's showdown when announcing their squad on Tuesday, with experienced lock Eben Etzebeth – in line for his 99th cap – the only player to retain his place in the XV.

Among the fresh faces in the Springboks' side are uncapped pair Kurt-Lee Arendse and Evan Roos, while four others – Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ruan Nortje, Deon Fourie and Grant Williams – could make their debuts from the bench.

Welsh rugby great Gareth Edwards accused South Africa of "disrespecting" Wales with their selection, but Pivac was more understanding when asked about the mass changes at his news conference on Thursday.

"From our point of view, it's a big focus on what we can improve from the last Test match," he said. "We are in a different part of the cycle; really we're at the end of our season, and they're at the start of theirs. 

"They've got their reasoning why they did it. They've got depth and quality throughout the squad and some experience in this team. So we're certainly not taking them lightly at all.

"There are players playing there with an opportunity to impress for the third test, so we know they'll come out strongly and represent their country like anyone else in that jersey. So for us, it's around what we can control and that's our performance.

"It hasn't changed our preparation at all. It is going to be 15 rugby players in green shirts, and we are expecting more of the same."

 

Unlike their opponents, Wales have stuck largely with the same group that came agonisingly close to pulling off a big result last weekend, with wing Alex Cuthbert replacing Josh Adams in the only change.

Adams is among the replacements, as is uncapped prop Sam Wainwright after Tomas Francis returned home following the concussion suffered in the first Test.

Elsewhere, George North will equal Stephen Jones' record as the most-capped Wales men's international back when making his 104th appearance.

Pivac's side head into the contest on a run of four successive defeats, each coming by a margin of four points or fewer – not since a six-match losing streak between February and November 2020 have they endured a worse run.

South Africa: Gelant, Arendse, Kriel, Esterhuizen, Fassi, Pollard (c), Hendrikse; Thomas du Toit, Dweba, Nyakane, Etzebeth, Orie, Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Roos.
Replacements: Marx, Mchunu, Koch, Nortje, Elstadt, Fourie, Williams, Willemse.

Wales: Williams, Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Cuthbert, Biggar (c), Hardy; Thomas, Elias, Lewis, Rowlands, Beard, Lydiate, Reffell, Faletau.
Replacements: Lake, Wyn Jones, Wainwright, Alun Wyn Jones, Navidi, Williams, Anscombe, Adams.

 

Uncapped pair Guy Porter and Tommy Freeman will make their England debuts after they were named in Eddie Jones' starting XV for the second Test against Australia.

The tourists will also hand a first start to Tigers scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet as they ring the chances for the must-win encounter against the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday.

Despite a man advantage after Darcy Swain's first-half dismissal in Perth, Jones' side slid to a 30-28 loss at Optus Stadium last weekend in their first encounter.

That has prompted a flurry of changes from the Australian, in what some may see as a risky gamble as he seeks to level the three-match series in what could be humid winter conditions in Queensland.

Leicester title-winning centre Porter will make his bow, while Freeman – who featured last month in an uncapped game against the Barbarians – will make his international debut proper.

Sam Underhill moves up to take the place of Tom Curry, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tour through concussion, while Owen Farrell has been retained at inside centre.

"We have decided to make changes in our backline, they were tough calls, but we feel they will strengthen the team," Jones said. "There are opportunities to attack against Australia which we can take."

Australia meanwhile have been forced into a slate of swaps, through Swain's suspension and Tom Banks' injury, with Matt Philip in for the former and Jordan Petaia moved to full-back to cover the latter's absence.

In a significant boost, prop Taniela Tupou is back, and makes a like-for-like change with the injured Allan Ala'alatoa.

Australia team: Petaia, Wright, Paisami, Kerevi, Koroibete, Lolesio, White; Bell, Porecki, Tupou, Philip, Neville, Leota, Hooper, Valetini.

Replacements: Fainga'a, Sio, Slipper, Frost, Samu, Gordon, O'Connor, Perese.

England team: Steward, Nowell, Porter, Farrell, Freeman, Smith, Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Stuart, Itoje, Hill, Lawes, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Heyes, Chessum, Ludlam, Willis, Care, Arundell.

Johnny Sexton will return to Ireland duty for the second Test against New Zealand, just a week after suffering a head injury in the opening game of the series.

The fly-half and captain had to be replaced half an hour into the first Test after he failed a head injury assessment; however, he has been passed fit to feature on Saturday.

Coach Andy Farrell named his team on Thursday for a game that will be played under a roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, with Mack Hansen coming in on the right wing.

Ireland are otherwise unchanged, and to be able to call on Sexton is a boost to their prospects.

Peter O'Mahony took on the captaincy responsibility after Sexton went off early in Ireland's 42-19 defeat in Auckland, and he welcomed confirmation that the 36-year-old would be available.

Quoted by the Irish Independent, O'Mahony said: "There is no secret, Johnny is one of the best 10s in the world, one of the best players in the world, so you want to be dealing with a full deck.

"We want to be playing with as full a bill of health as possible and there isn't anyone you can say you can afford to have out with regard to having three games in the space of nine or 10 days. He is hugely important to us, obviously our captain. I am far from a medical practitioner, but he has been in good form."

New Zealand have a concussion absentee, with Sam Whitelock ruled out, meaning Scott Barrett is switched to lock from his flanker role as Dalton Papalii comes into the team.


New Zealand team: J Barrett, Reece, Ioane, Tupaea, Fainga'anuku, B Barrett, Smith, Savea, Cane (captain), Papalii, S Barrett, Retallick, Tu'ungafasi, Taylor, Bower.

Replacement: Taukei'aho, Ross, Ta'avao, Tuipulotu, Sowakula, Fakatava, Mo'unga, Jordan.

Ireland team: Keenan, Hansen, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe, Sexton, Gibson Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong, Beirne, Ryan, O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: Herring, Healy, Bealham, Treadwell, Conan, Murray, Carbery, Aki.

Australia's Darcy Swain will miss the Wallabies' final two tour games with England after he was banned for a headbutt that saw him dismissed in the first Test.

The Brumbies lock was sent off in the first half for clashing heads with Jonny May, leaving the hosts to play the remainder of the match a man down in Perth.

Their numerical disadvantage did not prove costly after a dramatic 30-28 win over the tourists at Optus Stadium, but Swain will now play no role in the next two Tests after World Rugby upheld his red card.

"Having acknowledged mitigating factors, including the player’s acknowledgement of foul play, clean disciplinary record, conduct at the hearing and expression of remorse, the committee granted the player full mitigation of 50 per cent," the committee said in a statement.

"The committee further determined that given the above off-field mitigating factors and that a three-week sanction would be wholly disproportionate given the level and nature of the offence, the sanction was further reduced by an extra week."

Swain, who celebrated his birthday earlier this week, can still appeal against the decision, which will otherwise keep him out of matches against Eddie Jones' side in Brisbane on July 9 and Sydney on July 16.

Tom Curry will play no further part in England's tour of Australia after he was ruled out for the remaining two games through concussion.

The Sale Sharks flanker started for Eddie Jones' side in Saturday's first Test in Perth, but was replaced by Lewis Ludlam at the half-time break as the Wallabies snapped their losing streak in a dramatic 30-28 fightback win.

Curry had travelled to Brisbane for the tourists' next match, but will now fly back to England later this week in what is a sizeable blow.

The 24-year-old - a member of the British and Irish Lions party that toured South Africa last year - is considered a frontrunner for Jones' squad at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

"It has been agreed that in the interest of player welfare and recovery, [Curry] will take no further part in the tour," the Rugby Football Union confirmed in a brief statement.

It is not yet known whether England will call up a replacement for Curry, who is the first noticeable injury the tourists have had to deal with.

The Sharks star - a Premiership Cup winner with the club in 2020, a year on from playing in England's World Cup final defeat to the Springboks in Japan - will continue further assessment upon his return to England.

Dan Biggar was bemused by criticism of Wales' approach to their first Test in South Africa, wondering if they were expected to "just roll the carpet out".

Wales came agonisingly close to a famous win in Pretoria, ultimately going down 32-29 following four costly yellow cards – including one for Biggar.

After playing a brief period with 12 men, Wales had 13 on the pitch when an unlikely try gave Biggar a conversion that would have secured an improbable late lead.

Instead, he missed the posts and was then punished for a knock-on at the other end, allowing Damian Willemse to settle the match from the tee.

There would have undoubtedly been some relief in the Springboks camp as they were ultimately able to celebrate following their first home game in front of a crowd since winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Trailing 18-3 at half-time, South Africa captain Siya Kolisi acknowledged afterwards: "They [Wales] got under our skin."

There were multiple confrontations between the two sets of players off the ball, and Kolisi added his team "did a couple of things out of character".

When Biggar subsequently faced the media, he could not understand why Wales were expected to shoulder the blame for incidents of this nature.

"I don't know what the referee expected us to do," he said. "Just come here, lie down and give South Africa everything their own way?

"From our point of view, we wanted to try to get in their faces, get in their faces and not take a backwards step. That's part of the game.

"We were coming here, and if you stand off South Africa out here, then you'll get steam-rolled pretty quickly. You need some aggression and competitiveness and get into it.

"I didn't see any issue. They were just as niggly, competitive and as abrasive as we were. From our point of view, that was perfect for us.

"The decisions will be analysed. But from our point of view, I don't understand why people are bothered about it.

"It's a Test match, and we're away from home against the world champions. I'm not quite sure what people expected from us, just roll the carpet out and applaud them off the pitch?

"I don't know what the issue is. It's a Test match and we were more than happy to get stuck into them. That's what Test matches are about.

"I really don't understand. I see it as a non-event. That's exactly what you want from a Test match; you want it confrontational, you want it aggressive.

"There was no dirty play or anything. We just went at it and got confrontational. It worked for us, certainly in the first half.

"I've got no issue whatsoever. Whatever happens on the field, you shake hands afterwards, and there is absolutely zero issue."

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