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Keith Earls out but Jonathan Sexton ready for Ireland's Test with Samoa

Updated: Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 15:22 | Comments

Keith Earls has tendonitis of the knee
Keith Earls has tendonitis of the knee

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Keith Earls has been ruled out of Ireland's first autumn Test against Samoa but out-half Jonathan Sexton is fit to play.

The Munster player has patella tendonitis, an injury which recently ruled him out of their recent PRO12 tie with Glasgow. 

Racing Metro man Sexton was left on the bench for their Top 14 defeat by Biarritz over the weekend.

He had sustained a minor hip injury during the warm-up to the game. 

Paul O'Connell, Cian Healy and Sean O'Brien are all expected to return to full training tomorrow ahead of Saturday's Aviva Stadium clash with Manu Samoa (5.45pm)

Ahead of the game, Eoin Reddan has warned Ireland are on a hiding to nothing against the potent Pacific Island nation.

The South Seas visitors outrank Ireland in the International Rugby Board official world standings, boasting seventh place to Ireland's eighth.

Scrum-half Reddan believes Samoa's quality is not in doubt - but fears outside expectation will not take into account the power this weekend's tourists possess.

Samoa despatched Italy and Scotland in South Africa in June, following victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium 12 months ago.

The Leinster half-back explained: "Samoa are ranked seventh in the world and have had massive victories last year against Italy, Scotland and Wales.

"We know what we are up against this week.

"It is a tough game because it is the kind of one where within a squad you know what you are up against.

"Outside the squad, people normally don't know what you are up against, so expectations can be very high and there is a bit of a gap of what is expected and what is a reality.

"We know they are all challenges we have to deal with this week and I think we won't be looking past this week because of that.

"Samoa scored after 1:52 last year against Wales.

"There was no doubt about what they had come to do.

"From the kick-off they turned the ball over, it was all-out attack for two minutes and they scored in the corner.

"That is what we will be up against this week. They are going to come out very strong and very fast and we will have to do the same." 

Live coverage of Ireland v Samoa from 1700 on Saturday 9 November on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie/sport

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