Rugby World Cup 2019: Ireland aim to secure last-eight spot by beating Samoa

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By Michael Morrow
BBC Sport NI at Fukuoka
Ireland want a bonus-point triumph over Samoa in their final World Cup Pool A match in Fukuoka to ensure themselves a place.
The disruption due to Typhoon Hagibis and worries over the Hakatanomori Stadium pitch has overshadowed the build-up to Saturdays match.
Sundays game between Pool A competitions Japan and Scotland is in doubt that is significant.
Their fate will be decided by the outcome in Yokohama if Ireland fail to procure five points against Samoa.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt includes later he missed the opening three Pool A matches because of a hamstring injury, middle Robbie Henshaw because of his involvement in the World Cup.
Henshaws addition is among 11 changes in the win over Russia with Keith Earls, Bundee Aki, Johnny Sexton and Tadhg Beirne retained, although the latter switches from lock.
Changes come with the return of skipper Rory Greatest thatll be partnered by Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong in front row.
Schmidts probably plan could have been to rest a number of his players by hosts Japan in the Pool A game for the shock defeat to split the script.
Last 19, Japan ended in a defeat samoas slender odds of progressing into the stages.
Steve Jackson makes only two changes with Teofilo Paulo and Logovii Mulipola, for his final match in Fukuoka.
Before allowing their competitors to dominate the match in their last two games, against Scotland and Japan, Samoa have put in spirited half displays.
Hagibis, which will be on course to hit Yokohama and Tokyo, appeared to be heading towards Fukuoka this week before its path shifted, letting the build-up to the Ireland v Samoa game to proceed as normal.
World Rugby will make a decision on whether Scotland v Japan will go ahead on Sunday morning.
In case of a game that was cancelled both sides would be given.
Regardless of the uncertainty, Ireland number eight CJ Stander insisted the squad have not been diverted by the weather issues.
We all know our game is going ahead. We all can do is concentrate on this now, said the South Africa-born spine .
You cant examine other stuff thats out of our control.
The question marks on the surface in Fukuoka, that was closely scrutinised by his team and Schmidt through the captains of Friday run, have added yet another dimension into the build-up.
However, Irelands players and coaches have remained to point out that although many onlookers focus has been elsewhere, their priorities havent changed.
We need to win our match, said scrum coach Greg Feek.
To participate in a World Cup is an honour and it is really exciting to be a part of it.
You simply dont want those distractions for most of us to overlook how particular the tournament is.
Ireland: Larmour; Earls, Henshaw Stockdale Murray; Healy, Best, Furlong James Ryan; Stander, Beirne, Van der Flier.
Replacements: Scannell Porter OMahony, McGrath, Carbery, Conway.
Samoa: Nanai-Williams; Tuala, Leiua Fidow; Seuteni, Polataivao; Mulipola Lam Alaalatoa, Paulo, Leaupepe; Vui J Lam.
Replacements: Niuia Lay, Faasalele, Tyrell, Cowley, Pisi, Fonotia.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt:Weve just got to make sure our game becomes finished with the ideal outcome for us.
We will need to get out and find a outcome. It is a scenario nobody wanted to have.
Samoa coach Steve Jackson:What better opportunity to finish the World Cup?
Recognizing that we are on an airplane on Monday, going house, to have a scalp such as that will be fantastic.
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