The Latest: Irish make 11 changes to play Samoa at World Cup

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 21 at the typhoon-affected Rugby World Cup (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has made 11 changes for the Rugby World Cup Pool A match against Samoa.

The match in Fukuoka is set to go ahead despite Typhoon Hagibis causing Saturday’s two other scheduled World Cup matches to be cancelled and threatening games on Sunday. Ireland is second in Pool A.

The four players who remain from the 35-0 win against Russia last Thursday are backrower Tadhg Beirne, flyhalf Jonny Sexton, center Bundee Aki and winger Keith Earls.

Keen to shake up his lineup, Schmidt has moved Beirne from lock to flanker while Earls switches wings from left to right. Schmidt also made 11 changes for the Russia game after Ireland had lost 19-12 to host Japan.

Hooker Rory Best captains Ireland for the 37th time, overtaking Keith Wood in second place but far behind standout center Brian O’Driscoll’s national record of 83.

Ireland’s front row of Cian Healy, Best — who plays his 14th career match at the World Cup — and Tadhg Furlong are picked together for the 16th time. No front row of any team has been selected together more since the 2015 World Cup.

Best and Murray started when Ireland last played Samoa, winning 40-9 six years ago.


Jordan Larmour, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; CJ Stander, Josh Van der Flier, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (captain), Cian Healy. Reserves: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Jean Kleyn, Peter O’Mahony, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway.