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All Blacks Legend Ridiculed For Claim New Zealand Are 'Underdogs' Vs Ireland

13 November 2021; Jamison Gibson Park of Ireland during the Autumn Nations Series match between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

By PJ Browne Updated

Odds are that John Kirwan has never heard the term 'cute hoorism'. If the All Blacks legend hailed from Annascaul rather than Auckland, that is what he would be accused of on Monday.

Kirwan, who played 63 times for the All Blacks and won a World Cup in 1987, claims that New Zealand are the "underdogs" going into their three test series against Ireland.

Andy Farrell's side will play five games in New Zealand over the comings weeks, the first of which is against the Maori All Blacks on Wednesday.

"I think the two northern hemisphere sides that have taken some southern hemisphere style, and made it better and added their own style... France and Ireland are the two best European sides, I believe," Kirwan told Sky Sport NZ's The Breakdown.

"Ireland are outstanding in their attack patterns. I saw stuff out there that day [in November] that I've never seen before.

"Besides being away from home, they go in favourites."

13 November 2021; James Lowe of Ireland celebrates a turnover with Tadhg Beirne during the Autumn Nations Series match between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Jeff Wilson, who won 60 caps for the All Blacks, called it a "ridiculous comment" by Kirwan while fellow panellist Joey Wheeler broke down in laughter. Host Kirstie Stanway was also bemused.

Kirman claimed that Ireland's victory over the All Blacks last November, and their three wins against them in the last five games, "means they're coming in as favourites, and we're the underdogs. We are underdogs."

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"What was the most significant of those games? It was a quarter-final in a Rugby World Cup, and we put 50 on them," said Wilson.

"It’s a tour at the end of the year and you’re saying they’ll beat us. Are you trying to say the All Blacks are underdogs at home? Are you serious? At Eden Park? You have got to be kidding me.

"There's no doubt they're a threat, they've got some talent, and Jonathan Sexton is world class, Jamison Gibson-Park has become a quality half-back at international level. The development of the way their props play the game...

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"We recognise all of the threats, but to say they're the favourites against the All Blacks in New Zealand... They've never won a test in New Zealand. Andy Farrell is thinking to himself, 'What is JK on?'"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bAkMTSJfT4

See Also: Five Ireland Players With Something Extra To Prove Against The All Blacks

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