Ireland vs Samoa
11:45am Saturday 12th October
Bundee Aki was backed to set Irelands emotional tempo against Samoa on Saturday since they target a place at the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
Aki was created in Auckland to Samoan parents but joined Connacht at 2014 and capable on residency grounds.
The centre will take on the likes of close friend and Samoa full-back Tim Nanai-Williams at Fukuoka but was tipped to flourish on that pressure.
James Ryan hailed for pushing against his team-mates to higher heights with his abrasive approach, Aki, putting a psychological and physical tone for others to follow.
He leads with his actions when he performs he puts in big strikes, he makes enormous conveys, explained Ireland and Leinster lock Ryan.
He is a very simple man to follow in this regard. How he plays is actually led in by him.
If he places in a major hit or goes ahead with the ball, then I think that it gives everyone a lift. So the more people can get this being done by him , the better.
Ever since he arrived in, Bundee has included real value.
He is really looking forward to this week. He met a couple of the Samoan boys yesterday (Wednesday) to get a bit of food.
On the pitch, he brings a true physical edge and hes so combative. Off it he able to have everything else and also a laugh. He has been since hes come in
Aki will reprise his Connacht center partnership that is older after beating a hamstring injury, with good friend Robbie Henshaw, who plays his first match with this World Cup.
Jordan Larmour starts at full-back for Ireland using Rob Kearney with not trained entirely in Tuesdays crucial coaching session, while Tadhg Beirne begins with Peter OMahony on the seat.
Aki has vowed to treat confronting Samoa this weekend the exact same manner he shot his native New Zealand back.
With Aki producing a starring role, ireland saw off the All Blacks 16-9 in Dublin.
A functionality today would help steer Ireland using a struggle against South Africa or New Zealand in the offing, into the World Cup quarter-finals.
Skills trainer Richie Murphy disclosed Aki has grown into one of the older leaders of Ireland, pitching himself heavily to community life at Galway.
From a coachs point of view, it has his resilience and ability to be able to play every week, explained Murphy.
Weve experienced a situation in which himself, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose and Chris Farrell happen to be battling it out for those positions, but Bundee is the 1 man who has likely been available most of the time.
It has been fantastic to have him, hes come into the group and fitted in very well.
He loves living down in Galway, he is a large portion of the community , but within the group he has taken a big stride with this year and is getting into leadership roles. He drives the team both on and off the pitch
Ireland: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw,12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best (c), 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 James Ryan, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 CJ Stander.
Replacements: 23 Andrew Conway, 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne 19 Jean Kleyn 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery.
Samoa: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ah See Tuala, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Ed Fidow, 10 Ulupano Seuteni, 9 Dwayne Polataivao; 1 Logovii Mulipola, 2 Seilala Lam, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 5 Kane Leaupepe, 6 Chris Vui, seven TJ Ioane, 8 Jack Lam (c).
Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Jordan Lay, 19 Piula Faasalele, 20 Josh Tyrell, 21 Pele Cowley, 22 Tusi Pisi, 23 Kieron Fonotia.
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