Sport: Ireland centre Henshaw back for Samoa crunch match - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Sport Ireland centre Henshaw back for Samoa crunch match

14:10  10 october  2019
14:10  10 october  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Grounds for concern: Ireland must weather Samoa storm but pitch conditions could see turf war

  Grounds for concern: Ireland must weather Samoa storm but pitch conditions could see turf war Ireland's crucial final World Cup pool clash against Samoa will go ahead as planned this morning (11.45) and although Joe Schmidt's men appear to have avoided Typhoon Hagibis, they have concerns of their own at the poor condition of the pitch in Fukuoka. Ireland can guarantee a quarter-final spot by securing a bonus-point win over Samoa, which would lessen the anxiety levels over the next 24 hours. At the end of a week in which World Rugby are in the spotlight after the cancellation of two pool games, a third may be on the way if Scotland don't get a chance to take on Japan tomorrow.

Henshaw played in Ireland 's final warm-up game against Wales but has not yet featured at the The Leinster back , who missed the first three games with a hamstring injury, will partner Bundee Aki in The cancellation of New Zealand's final group match against Italy means Ireland know for sure that

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a man playing a game of football: Six Nations Championship - Ireland v England © Reuters/CLODAGH KILCOYNE Six Nations Championship - Ireland v England

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) - Centre Robbie Henshaw will make his first appearance for Ireland at the World Cup in Japan as he takes his place for the crunch Pool A clash against Samoa on Saturday.

Henshaw missed Ireland's matches against Scotland, Japan and Russia as he recovered from a hamstring strain but will start in the number 13 jersey outside Bundee Aki in one of 11 changes to the starting side that beat the Russians 35-0 in Kobe.

Tadhg Beirne, who moves to the back row, Jonny Sexton, Aki and Keith Earls, who switches wings, are the only players to retain their places.

Ireland out to clinch World Cup quarter-final with bonus-point win over Samoans

  Ireland out to clinch World Cup quarter-final with bonus-point win over Samoans Joe Schmidt’s side can save themselves a nervous Sunday by winning with four tries in Fukuoka today.Indeed, at one point during the week, Ireland had been informed by World Rugby to be on standby for a possible change of venue, with the game potentially shifting to Tokyo to avoid the wrath of Typhoon Hagibis.

Henshaw played in Ireland 's final warm-up game against Wales but has not yet featured at the Rugby World Cup The cancellation of New Zealand's final group match against Italy means Ireland know for sure that Samoa aiming to go out on a high. Samoa 's slim chances of progressing to the knock-out

Fit-again Robbie Henshaw will partner Bundee Aki in the centres for Ireland ’s Samoa clash, with Jordan Larmour slotting in at full- back and Tadhg Beirne at blindside flanker. Rob Kearney was deemed not quite ready having missed a section of training on Tuesday, while Peter O’Mahony is handed a

Read more: England v France off due to typhoon (The Independent)

Joe Schmidt’s team are seeking the bonus-point victory in Fukuoka that would ensure a place in the quarter-finals.

Ireland are second in the group on 11 points behind Japan (14 points), whose match against Scotland (10) in Yokohama on Sunday has been thrown into doubt due to Typhoon Hagibis.

Tournament regulations state that cancelled games are ruled a 0-0 draw, with two points going to each team.

Robbie Henshaw with team physio Keith Fox in Fukuoka © Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images Robbie Henshaw with team physio Keith Fox in Fukuoka

If Scotland's game is cancelled they would move on to 12 points, meaning Ireland would need to pick up at least a losing bonus point from the Samoa game to be assured of a place in the last eight along with Japan.

Ireland secure Rugby World Cup quarter final spot with a bonus-point victory over Samoa

  Ireland secure Rugby World Cup quarter final spot with a bonus-point victory over Samoa Ireland secured their Rugby World Cup quarter final place with a 47-5 bonus-point victory over Samoa. Rory Best scored the opening try of the game after only three minutes, Tadhg Furlong scored the second less than 10 minutes later, and with 21 minutes on the long the score was 21-0 as Johnny Sexton scored and converted Ireland’s third try. Samoa were given a glimmer of home when they pulled a try back through Jack Lam just a couple of minutes later. And things got better for them and worse for Ireland when Bundee Aki was given a red card for a a tackle direct to the head.

Robbie Henshaw could make a surprise switch to full- back for Ireland 's Guinnes Six Nations opener against England on Saturday. Ireland 's unprecedented midfield depth and possible ring-rustiness for fit-again full- back Rob Kearney could tempt head coach Joe Schmidt into deploying Leinster centre

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Ireland beat Scotland in their pool opener, giving them the head-to-head edge.

"For us, business as usual," Schmidt told reporters at the team hotel in Fukuoka on Thursday.

Read more: Scotland furious as typhoon threatens World Cup bid (The Independent)

"We can’t really control what happens with the Scotland-Japan game. So, on Saturday evening we need to get our business done as best as we can."

Hooker Rory Best will start and take back the captaincy from flyhalf Johnny Sexton, with scrumhalf Conor Murray also promoted from the bench to face the already eliminated Samoans, who were beaten 38-19 by Japan in their last pool clash.

Jordan Larmour will start at fullback as Rob Kearney recovers from a groin strain suffered against Russia, with Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale completing the back three that started the 27-3 win over Scotland.

Watch: 'Scotland are not happy' (Sky Sports)

Rugby World Cup 2019: Samoa coach Jackson calls for Aki to avoid ban

  Rugby World Cup 2019: Samoa coach Jackson calls for Aki to avoid ban Joe Schmidt is not optimistic Bundee Aki will avoid a ban but Samoa coach Steve Jackson wants a judiciary to "see some sense".Aki was dismissed for a dangerous tackle on Ulupano Seuteni after 29 minutes of the Pool A encounter at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium on Saturday.

Ireland need Sexton to get their belief levels back to where they once were. Sexton is the catalyst for everyone else to perform to their potential. So I hope Henshaw and Carbery are fit because they represent two bright candles in the storm. Josh van der Flier and Henshaw leading the line, tackling

Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw will make his Leinster comeback against the Scarlets in the semi-final of the Champions Cup tomorrow in the Aviva Stadium. The Athlone man returns from injury to play his first game for the province since the pool-stage victory over Montpellier.

Schmidt said the typhoon had proved an unwelcome distraction for his team after training on Thursday, as players discussed the various scenarios that could arise.

Final round pool matches between France and England, and New Zealand and Italy, have been cancelled for safety reasons, resulting in the elimination of the Italians.

"So when we get down to the captain’s run tomorrow we will hopefully be on task," Schmidt said.

Watch: We had to put safety first, says World Rugby chief (Sky Sports)

"Once you actually get to the ground and you know the immediacy of a match, it tends to focus the mind.”

Team:

15-Jordan Larmour, 14-Keith Earls, 13-Robbie Henshaw, 12-Bundee Aki, 11-Jacob Stockdale, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Conor Murray, 8-CJ Stander, 7-Josh van der Flier, 6-Tadgh Beirne, 5-James Ryan, 4-Iain Henderson, 3-Tadgh Furlong, 2-Rory Best (capt), 1-Cian Healy

'We need to go out with that attacking mindset'

  'We need to go out with that attacking mindset' This time four years ago, Johnny Sexton was hoping against all hope that his body wouldn't fail him leading into a World Cup quarter-final. Deep down, he knew that he wasn't going to make it back in time to face Argentina but when an initial scan on his groin came back all clear, it gave Sexton false hope. It wasn't until two days before the game that the injury really flared up before he was whisked off for a second scan, which revealed the extent of the damage.Given the number as well of the calibre of bodies that Ireland had already lost, it was a devastating blow to be without Sexton as well.

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Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw is fit to face Romania after shaking off a hamstring injury. Luke Fitzgerald and Jared Payne formed the midfield partnership in his absence against Canada and played well together, with Payne crossing for one of Ireland ’s seven tries.

Replacements: 16-Niall Scannell, 17-Dave Kilcoyne, 18-Andrew Porter, 19-Jean Kleyn, 20-Peter O'Mahony, 21-Luke McGrath, 22-Joey Carbery, 23-Andrew Conway

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Rugby World Cup 2019: Ireland Aki to play no further part in Japan after three-week ban .
Ireland will not have Bundee Aki available for the rest of the Rugby World Cup after he was banned for three weeks.Referee Nic Berry showed the powerful centre a red card in the 29th minute of Saturday's 47-5 hammering of Samoa, which secured Ireland's place in the quarter-finals.

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