New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has decided to make just one change in personnel this weekend, but Irish rugby fans need little reminding of what Ryan Crotty can bring to the table.

The All Blacks are, as expected, going for a full-strength side with Italy next week unlikely to pose quite the same questions as Ireland. Only an injury picked up at Twickenham rules Sonny Bill Williams out of action, with Crotty coming in for his 44th Test appearance.

Just three months after making his bow against Australia in 2013, the Nelson-born player etched his name into history with a late, late try at the Aviva Stadium. Victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat with the clock in the red, ensuring the world champions became the first side to complete the calendar year unbeaten in the professional era. 

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One of the least heralded names in that particular matchday squad - no shame considering the raft of talent at Hansen's disposal - became the scourge of the Irish sporting public.

The 30-year-old doesn't have a World Cup medal in his trophy cabinet - Williams and Malakai Fekitoa were favoured as backups to Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith in 2015 - but is a highly regarded member of the travelling party.

With 23-year-old Jack Goodhue in single figures for appearances, Crotty will marshal proceedings in midfield. Ireland know that while the Crusaders man won't possess the raw carrying ability of Williams, he is a significant danger in his own right.

"He is very physical," admits Joey Carbery. "He's a very good tackler, runs great lines and a very good passer of the ball. There's people like Jack Goodhue as well who are good ball players and can play outside. They can all step up into first receiver. 

"It just shows that the attack can come from anywhere, from left or right, so we have to be set across the pitch."

Carbery was in his late teens when New Zealand spoiled the Irish party five years ago, and while he says the match itself hasn't been referenced within the camp, the lessons still stand; you must press home your advantage against the All Blacks when the opportunities arise.

"Regardless of how much you go up by, they can always come back, that's how dangerous their individuals can be."

Schmidt has spoken of the nous within the All Blacks squad - "the depth of their experience, the number of centurions they have got, or guys with 70 or 80 caps, it is formidable" - and it is reinforced that a player of Crotty's quality has yet to reach the half century mark.

Crotty (R) and Beauden Barrett training in Dublin this week

"He is a good communicator, very direct with his running and makes good decisions," was Steve Hansen's assessment on Thursday of Crotty's performance against England.

Knowing the All Blacks coach, his praise was probably no more effusive in private. Not a world beater, but a back-up well capable of beating most.

With the World Cup looming, Schmidt will be buoyed by the fact that silverware has been consistently claimed under his stewardship under his tenure and ensured that Ireland are now serious opponents very much on the All Blacks radar.

The men in green have spoken all week that while there is huge respect there for the black jersey, unlike many occasions in the past, fear is clearly absent.

"There's no doubt that if we go behind, we can get it back," he said. Just not if Crotty or a team-mate strikes quite as late as 2013.

Follow Ireland v New Zealand via our liveblog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, watch live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 this Saturday (kick-off 7pm)