In a desperate act to keep Bundee Aki's World Cup alive, Ireland are flying in a specialist lawyer to defend the centre.

The 29-year-old was red-carded in Ireland's 47-5 romp over Samoa on Saturday for a high tackle on UJ Seuteni in Fukuoka.

Previous dismissals at the World Cup have resulted in three-match suspensions.

READ MORE:
All Blacks to play Ireland in quarter-finals
Samoa defend red-carded Ireland midfielder Bundee Aki
Ireland move into quarter-finals by crushing Samoa

Advertisement

However, the Irish Rugby Football Union told the Telegraph that William Fry partner Derek Hegarty was en route to Japan.

Ireland were still waiting on referee Nic Berry's official match report and defence coach Andy Farrell said they were preparing for a hearing.

"I feel sorry for everyone who gets a red card. I don't know anyone in world rugby who wants to do anything like that on a pitch," said Farrell.

Bundee Aki was sent off for this high tackle on Samoa's Ulupano Seuteni. Photo / AP
Bundee Aki was sent off for this high tackle on Samoa's Ulupano Seuteni. Photo / AP

"Reaction stuff is very tough to judge, you can slow everything down and everyone has a comment.

"I'd like to think there's a bit of feel in and around the whole situation."

World Rugby confirmed the hearing would take place in Tokyo on Monday night.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said Aki was "devastated" after he was sent-off for the tackle against a player of his fatherland, Samoa.

Meanwhile, Samoan coach Steve Jackson was sympathetic towards Aki following the match, adding he shouldn't be suspended for the tackle.

Advertisement

"We'll do everything we possibly can from a Samoan perspective to make sure that he gets on that field next week," Jackson said previously.

"If you look at Bundee's tackle again, UJ came with the ball at pace and I think he only had two or three metres to make a decision as to what sort of tackle he might put in.

Ireland's Bundee Aki (left) and Samoa's Tusi Pisi after the game. Photo / Getty
Ireland's Bundee Aki (left) and Samoa's Tusi Pisi after the game. Photo / Getty

"Was there malice in Bundee's tackle? No, he's just physical in the collisions, being a Samoan boy."

Ireland dropped to second on the ladder of Pool A after hosts Japan defeated Scotland 28-21 last night, setting up an interesting run to the finals.

In a quarter-final matchup few would have predicted, Ireland will face the All Blacks on Saturday at 11.15pm.

The match will be just the second time the two sides have met at the World Cup, following a 1995 pool play clash which New Zealand won 43-19.