Doug Howlett expects the All Blacks to "explode" on Saturday evening against Ireland

The former Munster star is New Zealand's leading international try scorer

Doug Howlett expects the All Blacks to "explode" on Saturday evening against Ireland

Doug Howlett Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/ Tom Honan

New Zealand's record try-scorer Doug Howlett said Ireland should be "on guard against a wounded All Black team" this weekend.

The two teams meet a fortnight after Ireland recorded their first ever victory over the World Champions. The 40-29 win in Chicago ended New Zealand's record of 18 wins in a row.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Howlett told Alan Quinlan that Ireland should be wary against a team who will be looking to right the wrong of their performance in Chicago.

"I don't think it's going to be a whitewash in any way. It's going to be a close game... It's going to take a good All Black team to tip [Ireland] this weekend".

New Zealand have made five changes to the team, with players like Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock returning to the team, from, the side that lost in Chicago. The former winger feels the second-row duo will be crucial in the game.

"They spend a lot of their time controlling the middle of the field. That was something I thought the All Blacks missed in the last match, coupling with the abilty to control the lineouts... They will have a huge impact on the game".

He concluded that he feels the World Champions "are on the edge of the edge" having had their focused sharpened after the 11-point loss, but also warned that New Zealand beat Ireland 60-0 in 2012, just a week after Ireland almost drew the side in Christchurch, when Dan Carter scored a drop-goal with the last kick of the game.

Beware the wounded All Black...