Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says tomorrow's first tour game against the Maori All Blacks will be the biggest game some of his squad have every played, having named five uncapped players for the clash in Hamilton.

Jimmy O'Brien, Ciarán Frawley, Joe McCarthy, Jeremy Loughman and Cian Prendergast will all make their first senior appearances in an Ireland shirt tomorrow morning (8.05am kick-off), with Bundee Aki captaining an inexperienced starting XV at FMG Stadium, the home of Super Rugby's Chiefs.

Although Test caps aren't awarded for either of the tour games against the Maori All Blacks, head coach Andy Farrell says the game will be a huge step for those in the wider squad, as they try to break their way into contention for a spot at next year's World Cup.

"It's huge," Farrell said. "It’s everything to these players taking the field on Wednesday. It’s the biggest game of their lives.

"I know there’s a three-game series coming up, but these two Maori games for us, and what we’re trying to build, and how we’re trying to put people under pressure and see how they come through that is just as important."

Joe McCarthy and Cian Prendergast have both been picked to start tomorrow's game against the Maori All Blacks

With the first Test against New Zealand just four days away, both sides have had to deal with disjointed preparations, with Will Jordan this morning confirmed as the sixth member of the All Blacks camp to test positive for Covid-19, while out-half Richie Mo'unga also sat out training due to a stomach bug.

While Ireland only have one Covid case to deal with in Mack Hansen, they have had factor with injuries, with Iain Henderson ruled out of the tour due to a knee injury, while an issue with Rob Herring has seen Niall Scannell flown in to join the squad and will be among the replacements tomorrow.

Ireland are also training in two different groups, with tomorrow's matchday 23 separate from those being kept fresh for Saturday's Test match, while many of those on the replacements bench in Hamilton tomorrow will have to tog out again this weekend

However, the Ireland boss says that chaos is by design, as they try replicate the demands that next summer's World Cup will bring.

"It is what it is, we're in the same boat ourselves, we’ve one [Covid] case and we could have a few more cases by the end of the week, we don’t know. This is the way the world is," he added.

"The motto of the tour is 'being adaptable’. When you look at our situation it’s not far off what’s happening with the All Blacks anyway. Our preparation is completely different to what it would normally be. We’re training with a squad of 23 guys who are getting ready for a Maori game, and we’ve got 13 or 14 guys getting ready for a Test match. We’re waiting to see how the Wednesday game goes, who gets picked to take the field in the 23 for the Test match.

Andy Farrell (L) and scrum coach John Fogarty at training

"We picked that on purpose because we want to be adaptable, we want to be under pressure.

"Obviously we've been in the country for six or seven days, and it’s just been about ourselves, our own preparation. We know we’re up against a very strong Maori side, so that’s exactly what we’re here for with the size of the squad we’ve got.

"Attention has been focused on us, but short preparation warrants that."

And Farrell has also played down the arrival of former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt into the All Blacks camp.

Schmidt has been drafted in to help prepare the hosts in the absence of head coach Ian Foster, having been due to start his new role as national selector next month.

Farrell says his old boss will likely just be fine-tuning Foster's plan, adding that he might have to cancel his plans to meet Schmidt for a coffee.

"I think Joe is just there helping out, being an extra pair of hands, and I’m sure he’s just fitting into the system.

"I’m supposed to be meeting him for a coffee on Thursday, I don’t know if that is out of the question now or not, we’ll soon see.

"He’s coming into a system that he probably doesn’t know that well, it’s not his system. I’m sure he’s just bringing his one-to-one expertise, giving advice to the coaches. I’m sure they’ll all try to learn something off him."

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Listen to live updates of Maori All Blacks v Ireland on Wednesday 29 June on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.