Rugby Australia CEO admits July series with Ireland 'highly unlikely' to go ahead

The Wallabies are set to take on Andy Farrell’s Ireland in Brisbane on July 4 and Sydney on July 11, before playing Fiji in Townsville on July 18.

Yet with the global rugby calendar facing huge uncertainty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, those games look set to be postponed, or even cancelled.

Rugby Australia held their annual general meeting on Monday, where they revealed a $9.4 million operating deficit for the World Cup year of 2019.

Six Nations over for Ireland prop Healy

The Leinster stalwart was withdrawn after suffering the blow during a 24-12 defeat to England at Twickenham on Sunday

Healy has been ruled out of the clash with Italy at the Aviva Stadium on March 7 and will not face leaders France in Paris on the final day of the tournament.

Pro14 champions Leinster will be hoping the 32-year-old is available for a European Champions Cup quarter-final against holders Saracens in Dublin on April 4.

Healy will have to wait to bring up a century of caps, with his appearance against England taking him to 98.

Justin Marshall completely writes off Ireland's chances of upsetting All Blacks

The 46-year-old pundit – who won 81 caps for the All Blacks – slammed Ireland’s playing style and tipped his countrymen to put a big score on Joe Schmidt’s side.

Talking to News hub, Marshall explained: “I’m not convinced they’re as good a side as they have been in the past.”

“They’ve got a little laborious in the way they’ve been attacking. They’re predictable.

“The All Blacks will be up for it and I think we could actually see them put some points on them and win quite comfortably.”

All Blacks team to play Ireland named

The in-form Anton Lienert-Brown and Jack Goodhue will partner in the midfield in an otherwise experienced All Blacks line up.

Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Nepo Laulala make up the front row, Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are the starting locks, while Ardie Savea, Sam Cane and Kieran Read are the loose forward trio.

Aaron Smith has been named the starting halfback, Richie Mo'unga at first five, George Bridge and Sevu Reece are on the wings and Beauden Barrett is at fullback.

Bundee Aki handed three week ban

The New Zealand born player was sent off in the 47-5 Pool A win over the Samoans in Fukuoka on Saturday, for a high tackle on UJ Seuteni.

Aki faced a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo on Monday night, contesting the red card decision in a bid to be available for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand.

But the 29-year-old failed in that quest and was hit with a three-week ban, that would even rule him out of the World Cup final, should Ireland make it that far.

Schmidt to seek 'reasoning' for Aki dismissal

Aki was ordered off by referee Nic Berry after 29 minutes for a tackle on Ulupano Seuteni at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, where Ireland needed a bonus-point win to be assured of a place in the last eight on Saturday.

Ireland were already in command at that stage following tries from captain Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong and Johnny Sexton.

Sexton's second try secured the bonus point just before half-time and Ireland dominated the second period, with Jordan Larmour, CJ Stander and Andrew Conway also going over.

Ireland thrash Samoa

Ireland knew maximum points in their final Pool A match at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium on Saturday would see them through at the expense of Japan or Scotland, who are set to meet on Sunday unless the decisive match is cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

Joe Schmidt's side had the bonus point secured just before half-time, captain Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong crossing before the excellent Sexton scored a brace of tries.

Aki became the first Ireland player to be sent off in a World Cup match for a dangerous tackle on Ulupano Seuteni but it did not prove to be costly.

Samoa planning no "special treatment" for Bundee Aki

The 29 year old moved to Ireland five years ago and has played 22 tests for his adopted nation since 2017.

Manu captain Jack Lam said they knew Aki but would't be paying him any more attention than the rest of the Irish team.

"No special presents for him, he'll get the same treatment as everyone else. Most of the boys are pretty close with Bundee - a couple of boys have seen him during the week - so we're still friends off the field but once everyone crosses the line they're all the same," Lam said.

Rugby World: Cup Ireland v Samoa

Saturday's encounter in Fukuoka was in doubt due to Typhoon Hagibis, which has forced the cancellation of England's encounter with France and New Zealand's clash against Italy.

However, the match is set to go ahead as scheduled, even though doubt remains over whether pool rivals Japan and Scotland will be able to play out their crucial game on Sunday.

Ireland sit second in Pool A, three points behind hosts Japan and one ahead of Scotland, meaning a bonus-point win over Samoa for coach Schmidt's team would be enough to secure progression into the last eight.

Typhoon Hagibis set to wreck Ireland's quarter-finals hopes

A typhoon-watch warning has been issued for their final pool game against Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday night.

Typhoon Hagibis is developing off the south coast of Japan, and could bring heavy rain and high winds this weekend.

If the match is called off, the two sides would share the points, taking Ireland's quarter-final ambitions out of their hands.

Should Scotland beat Russia with a bonus point and follow that with victory over Japan, the Irish would miss the playoffs and a potential final-eight showdown with the All Blacks.