Saturday 19 October 2019

Easterby: We know we haven't been good enough

Forwards coach Simon Easterby during an Ireland Rugby press conference at the Grand Hyatt in Fukuoka, Japan. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Forwards coach Simon Easterby during an Ireland Rugby press conference at the Grand Hyatt in Fukuoka, Japan. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Forwards coach Simon Easterby admits Ireland's performances have not been good enough at this World Cup so far, but the former flanker insists the struggles have not eaten into the team's belief.

Echoing the comments of boss Joe Schmidt and captain Rory Best, Easterby says the team remain confident they can make a mark on this tournament.

Ireland take on Samoa on Saturday and fears of a typhoon blowing their campaign further off course have abated, with weather experts suggesting Hagibus has veered north and will avoid match venue Fukuoka.

According to the forwards coach, 30 players trained yesterday with Jordi Murphy the sole injury doubt for the game.

Schmidt is set to start Johnny Sexton once again, with fit-again Joey Carbery likely to play a role off the bench. Robbie Henshaw is expected to start, with Garry Ringrose due a break after starting all three games to date.

A win of any kind should put Ireland into the quarter-finals, with a bonus-point win ensuring they'll make the last eight.

Whether they face New Zealand or South Africa will come down to the result of Japan's clash with Scotland on Sunday. And Easterby says they know they can produce a performance that can down one of the big guns if they get the chance.

"I don't think there's anyone in the group that doesn't believe that we're not good enough to get through and make a real mark on this tournament still," he said.

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