Joe Schmidt ‘excited’ about Robbie Henshaw’s return

Rugby World Cup: Ireland coach says he’s picked players who can give ‘best preparation’

Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw in training ahead of the Rugby World Cup match against Samoa. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw in training ahead of the Rugby World Cup match against Samoa. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Rhys Ruddock and Rob Kearney are notable exclusions from the Ireland team to face Samoa on Saturday at the Hakatanomori Stadium (7.45pm local time/11.45am Irish time).

Ruddock, man of the match against Russia seven days ago, was expected to feature at blindside but Joe Schmidt this morning named Tadhg Beirne at number six with Peter O’Mahony covering on the bench.

Kearney was “managed” in training this week so Jordan Larmour starts at fullback.

“Rob ran today,” said Schmidt, “but he was a little slow to pick up during the week, as was Pete O’Mahony, as was Rhys so we’ve gone with the guys who can give us the best preparation into the game.”

Munster lock Jean Kleyn – who qualified to play for Ireland on residency grounds last August – is makes the reserves list alongside Joey Carbery and Andrew Conway.

With Garry Ringrose rested, having played all 240 minutes of Ireland’s Pool A matches to date, Robbie Henshaw returns at outside centre alongside Bundee Aki.

Henshaw has recovered from a hamstring injury.

“Robbie is fresh and we are excited to have him in there. It is a little bit about balancing the load albeit in a huge game for us.”

Johnny Sexton starts at outhalf with Schmidt stating the 34-year-old will play up to 60 minutes before being replaced by Carbery.

Schmidt was not best pleased with a question about eradicating the mistakes that led to “sub-par” Ireland performances against Japan and Russia.

“There have been elements in both those - as you describe - sub-par performances when we have done some really positive stuff.”

The outgoing 54-year-old Kiwi coach called upon the senior forwards to ensure “we are not getting ruffled, we are not over chasing, we are being as solid as we can be to give ourselves the platform to get whatever we need from the game.”

There followed questions about dented Irish confidence. There followed answers about the positive aspects of Irish play at this World Cup. Everyone in Camp Schmidt was on message today.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.