Joe Schmidt has recalled a number of front-line players for Ireland's crucial Pool A clash with Samoa on Saturday with Conor Murray, Rory Best, James Ryan and Robbie Henshaw all set to start. 

In total there are 11 changes to the starting line-up from the side that laboured to a 35-0 win over Russia a week ago. 

Centre Henshaw, who injured his hamstring soon after arrival in Japan, is fit to make his first 2019 World Cup appearance and will line up alongside Bundee Aki. 

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Rob Kearney, who was replaced after 49 minutes of the last game with a groin issue is not in the match-day squad with Jordan Larmour at full-back. 

Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale take their places on the wings, while Murray, who was rested against the Bears is back in harness with Johnny Sexton in the half-backs. 

Schmidt has opted for wholesale changes in the forwards with just one of the eight starters against the Bears included. 

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That means returns for Cian Healy, Best, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan in the front five. 

Tadhg Beirne keeps his place in the back row, while Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander, who played 54 minutes as a replacement for Jordi Murphy last time out is back. 

The forwards replacements are Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Jean Kleyn and Peter O'Mahony, while Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery and Andrew Conway will cover the backs off the bench. 

Schmidt pointed to the strength of his squad in his selection and explained that the grueling nature of the tournament had forced his hand somewhat into making changes in what is a crucial game for Ireland.

Speaking at the team announcement he explained Kearney's absence and insisted that he's fully confident that Henshaw can hit the ground running.

"Rob [Kearney] ran today but was a little bit slow to pick up in the week, as was Peter O'Mahony, as was Rhys [Ruddock], so we’ve gone with the guys who could give us the best preparation into the game and a bit of a mix.

"Obviously guys like Garry Ringrose who I think has been outstanding so far, he’s played three sets of 80 minutes in just 11 days. You can’t expect people to keep on keeping on.

"So Robbie is fresh and we’re excited to have him in there. It is a little bit about out-balancing the load as well, albeit in a huge game for us."

Schmidt has been impressed with the performance of Beirne so far in Japan and he revealed that his displays on the training pitch helped him keep his place in the starting XV.

"He's been really solid, he’s been versatile for us," the Irish head coach said. 

"I thought he carried well against Russia albeit that the ball was a bar of soap so it made it very difficult.

"His line-out work has been good, he gives us a little bit more height in the line-out, probably not quiet the speed that Pete has in getting up in the line-out.

"I think defensively he gets off the line well and he’s trained really well. That’s probably the bit that people don’t see that makes a difference in our eyes in making selections."

Meanwhile, Samoa coach Vaeluaga Steve Jackson has made just two changes to his side.

Loose-head prop Logovii Mulipola and second-row Teofilo Paulo return to the line-up having missed the 38-19 defeat to Japan. They come in for Jordan Lay and Piula Faasalele.

Ireland: Jordan Larmour, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander 

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Jean Kleyn, Peter O'Mahony, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway. 

Samoa: Tim Nanai-Williams, Ah See Tuala, Alapati Leiua, Henry Taefu, Ed Fidow, Ulupano Seuteni, Dwayne Polataivao; Logovii Mulipola, Seilala Lam, Michael Alaalatoa, Teofilo Paulo, Kane Le'aupepe, Chris Vui, TJ Ioane, Jack Lam (capt).

Replacements: Ray Niuia, Paul Alo-Emile, Jordan Lay, Piula Faasalele, Josh Tyrell, Pele Cowley, Tusi Pisi, Kieron Fonotia.

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Follow Ireland v Samoa on Saturday 12 October (kick-off 11.45am) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the News Now App, watch live on RTÉ2 or listen to live match commentary on RTÉ 2fm.