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Kidney wary of Samoa challenge

Declan Kidney believes Saturday's showdown with Samoa at Aviva Stadium will provide Ireland with a clearer picture of the health of the team.

The South Sea Islanders have named a strong side featuring nine players from the Aviva Premiership and French Top 14, including Alesana Tuilagi, Seilala Mapusua and George Stowers.

Ireland desperately need a victory after succumbing to their seventh straight defeat with last weekend's 23-21 loss to South Africa, and Kidney said: "Samoa will be difficult this year. Sometimes when you play Pacific Islands teams, if it's not a World Cup year they might not get the release of all their players. But in World Cup year all of their players have been released."

He added: "You just need to look at their record in the World Cup - they've reached the knockout stages as often if not more often than ourselves.

"This will be a huge challenge and we need that to see where we are."

Ireland's performance against South Africa was a major disappointment until the final 15 minutes and Kidney has demanded his side do a better job of retaining possession.

"We turned the ball over far too much - 29 times to their 16," he said.

"If we do that we'll be in trouble in any game. We need to cherish the ball a bit more.

"We have to praise South Africa for the pressure they put us under in certain situations, but we must take control of the parts we can far better."


From Belfast Telegraph