World Rugby defend Fukuoka turf before Ireland vs Samoa

Joe Schmidt is standing down as Ireland head coach after the Rugby World Cup in Japan

Joe Schmidt is standing down as Ireland head coach after the Rugby World Cup in Japan

The Ireland v Samoa game will escape the wrath of Typhoon Hagibis and is set to take place on Saturday, although World Rugby is yet to make a call on the other Pool A game between Japan and Scotland.

"You would have seen the pitch yourselves", Feek said.

"They told us in an email, both teams knew about it, we knew that they had to relay the pitch a bit, so we obviously went out there and had a bit of an inspection and we've been given all assurances by World Rugby that it's safe to play on and that's all we can ask for", Feek said.

'I don't want to predict anything or cause any more controversy at this stage. We will just try to back the players and trust that the pitch will do its job. So, we're trying to alleviate any concerns while we're out there but then it's just a matter of wait and see.

"The referee will be aware of it, so that's the key. All the communication is there".

Wing Keith Earls suggested the surface perhaps looks more problematic than it feels underfoot.

"It doesn't look great, to be honest with you but actually out there, it's flat and it's quite firm", the winger maintained. Like what Feeky said, it has been inspected and it has been deemed playable. "But I'm not going to get into the politics of the other stuff".

"For us it's just business as usual".

The pitch will nearly certainly cut up tomorrow, especially at scrum time and Feek admitted that he was anxious about it.

"We know that our game is going ahead".

"When it comes to a static isometric position where there's a couple of big packs going at it, you're always going to be cautious and ask the questions".

"So we've just got to prepare our guys as best we can but make sure the scrums stay up, not just for safety but also for the match too".

Despite the uncertainty, Ireland number eight CJ Stander insisted that the squad have not been distracted by the weather concerns. "I just couldn't do that to myself and the jersey and it just didn't cross my mind; it was a no-brainer".

After arriving at the Fukuoka Stadium for yesterday's captain's run, the players and coaches got a first chance to check out the recently relaid surface.

"We have no special presents for him, he'll get the same treatment as everyone else", Lam said. "We can't control what happens with the Japan-Scotland game, so on Saturday it's up to us to get our business done as best we can".

'We are confident in the integrity of the new Fukuoka pitch for Ireland v Samoa, ' the statement read.

World Rugby, in conjunction with the tournament's organising committee, took the decision to re-lay the pitch at Hakatanomori Stadium following France's match against the United States on October 2. The primary driver was player welfare.

'The tournament has dedicated nurseries where back-up turf is meticulously prepared in line with World Cup standards. "While the look of the turf may not be ideal, as would be expected with a very recent installation, we are confident that the pitch will perform superbly".

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