Joe Schmidt tried his best not to get drawn into the controversy surrounding Typhoon Hagibis as he named his team to face Samoa on Saturday, but eventually claimed that England and New Zealand had been handed a clear "advantage" heading into the quarter-finals with their final pool games having been cancelled.

Ireland's head coach, for the most part, tried to bat away questions concerning the typhoon. He insisted that his team simply needed to "take care of business" in Fukuoka and not worry about whether Sunday's clash between Scotland and Japan would go ahead.

Ireland's destiny is in their own hands. They will advance to the quarter-finals automatically should they win with a bonus point in Fukuoka.

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However, if they win without a bonus point, or lose the game, their fate will be determined by the outcome of the Japan-Scotland game, with any number of different permutations possible, ranging from winning the pool to not qualifying at all.


Pool A's winners will face South Africa in the quarter-finals, whereas the group runners-up will have to face the All Blacks.

"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," Schmidt said.

Asked whether the tournament was still a level playing field, Schmidt said he had noted Eddie Jones' remark about the weather gods being on England's side, and believed that they, and the All Blacks, will benefit from an longer build-up before their quarter-finals.

"I think when you've had a long lead-in like we've had and we've had some games concentrated together quite closely, I think it's always an advantage to get a longer lead-in," he said. "That would be my personal opinion.

"I think it would be the opinion of any coach that you ask. I did read a little bit on Eddie Jones. He looked fairly disappointed that he was going to head off on a mini-camp and do some really good training on the Saturday and have a few beers.

"So while they're doing that we'll be rolling our sleeves up trying to combat a Samoa side that has heaps of talent and will be inevitably physical because that's how they play the game and that's how the game tends to be played at the top level."

Ireland have centre Robbie Henshaw back for the Samoa clash, with Johnny Sexton named at fly half in what is as close to a full-strength Ireland team as possible.

"From our point of view [playing a day earlier than Japan-Scotland] probably makes it easier," captain Rory Best said. "We go out, we play our game and you assume the game goes ahead on Sunday."