Ireland aim to secure last-eight spot by beating Samoa

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during press conference ahead of Samoa clash

Ireland concerned by state of pitch for Rugby World Cup game with Samoa

"That's always my concern, no matter whether it's training or on the match pitch", Feek said.

Sunday's match between Pool A rivals Japan and Scotland is in major doubt.

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.

Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt talks during the captain's run at Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka on Friday.

The Samoan bond remains strong with Aki, who was coached at Connacht by former Samoa global and coach Pat Lam, a one-test All Black who is also Jack Lam's cousin. Cian Healy, 2. Rory Best (c), 3.

Samoa's slim chances of progressing to the knock-out stages were ended in a defeat by Japan last Saturday.

By contrast Samoa coach Steve Jackson has made just only changes to his side from the team beaten 38-19 by Japan. Scotland rebounded from the loss to Ireland to win its next two games.

Typhoon Hagibis is not expected to impact on Ireland's clash with Samoa on Saturday in Fukuoka, where kick-off is at 11.45 am Irish time.

It's been a hard few days for World Rugby as Typhoon Hagabis gets set to do a number on Japan.

Joe Schmidt's team have rebounded well from their loss to Japan, keeping Russian Federation scoreless in a bonus-point success, although it was not quite as straightforward as the 35-0 scoreline suggested.

Backrower CJ Stander added: "It's tough. but there's safety and what needs to be done".

"We know that our game is going ahead. All we can do is concentrate on that now", said the South African-born back row.

"You can't look at other stuff that's out of our control".

But Ireland's players and coaches have remained at pains to point out that although the focus of many onlookers has been elsewhere, their priorities have not changed.

Samoa arrived in Japan without a clutch of Europe-based stars who, just like Lam, were told heading to the World Cup would jeopardise their club futures. "We just have to get on with the job".

Ireland: 15. Jordan Larmour, 14.

Replacements: 16. Niall Scannell, 17.

Samoa: Nanai-Williams; Tuala, Leiua, Taefu, Fidow; Seuteni, Polataivao; Mulipola, S Lam Alaalatoa, Paulo, Le'aupepe; Vui, Ioane, J Lam.

Replacements: Niuia, Alo-Emile, Lay, Fa'asalele, Tyrell, Cowley, Pisi, Fonotia.

Ireland's starting XV is not far off full-strength and while they have concerns about the playing surface at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, which was relaid as recently as 4 October, coach Schmidt will be fervently hoping that a longer preparation period for this game will help his players rediscover their spark and put down a marker for the quarter-finals.

"We need to get out and get a result. It's a situation nobody wanted to have". "Knowing that we're on an airplane on Monday, going home - to have a scalp like that would be great", said Samoa head coach Steve Jackson.

"The tournament has dedicated nurseries where back-up turf is meticulously prepared in line with Rugby World Cup standards".

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