Picking The Ireland Team For Their Final World Cup Pool Match Against Samoa

Samoa.

Ireland’s 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign hasn’t exactly gone according to plan so far but all is not lost. They’re still in a position to progress to the quarter-final stages with their destiny in their own hands.

A win of any kind against Samoa next week will guarantee them a place among the last 16. Depending on how Japan get on against Scotland they could be looking at a first or second-place finish but it’s irrelevant. Ireland need to win, simple as.

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But in saying that, realistically they also need a big performance. Whether it ends up being South Africa or New Zealand in the QF – Ireland will struggle against both sides if they play the way they did in their opening three games.

So how do they line out against Samoa? Well first of all Ireland cannot underestimate them. Take them for granted and you’re in trouble, so expect a strong selection from Schmidt, building into a potential quarter-final.

The biggest name we want to see on the teamsheet is Robbie Henshaw. The Leinster centre is one of Ireland’s most important players but is yet to play at the World Cup through injury. Ireland need this man back fit and playing.

Elsewhere, Joey Carbery is badly in need of some match minutes. A start at 10 would do him the world of good providing he’s fit after pulling out of the squad for the Russia game. He’s another player that can make a real difference if Ireland can get him fit and ready.

Anyway, here’s the full team we would go with. We’ve tried to pick the strongest team potentially available while also trying to give guys a rest who have played a lot of minutes or back-to-back games.

Ireland vs Samoa

15. Rob Kearney
14. Andrew Conway
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Chris Farrell
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Joey Carbery
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (c)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. James Ryan
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Josh van der Flier
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:
16. Sean Cronin
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. John Ryan
19. Iain Henderson
20. Peter O’Mahony
21. Luke McGrath
22. Johnny Sexton
23. Keith Earls