Much-changed Ireland face Samoa

Ireland faced the weakest of this autumn’s opposition hoping to end their four-Test losing streak by toppling Samoa at Aviva Stadium.

Ireland faced the weakest of this autumn’s opposition hoping to end their four-Test losing streak by toppling Samoa at Aviva Stadium.

Half-backs Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer returned amid 10 changes to the side dispatched 23-21 by South Africa in last weekend’s frustrating start to the month.

For all the adjustments to the line-up, Ireland were arguably stronger in several key positions and were led by captain Brian O’Driscoll.

Samoa fielded nine players who compete in the Aviva Premiership or French Top 14, including Alesana Tuilagi, Seilala Mapusua and George Stowers.

Ireland v Samoa Ireland: Fitzgerald, Bowe, B. O’Driscoll, P. Wallace, Trimble, O’Gara, Stringer, Cronin, Hayes, O’Callaghan, Toner, Leamy, O’Brien, Heaslip, Best.

Replacements: Healy, Ryan, Ferris, Boss, Sexton, Earls.

Samoa: P. Williams, Lemi, Pisi, Mapusua, A. Tuilagi, Lavea, Fotualii, Taulafo, Schwalger, A. Perenise, Levi, Thompson, Treviranus, Salavea, Stowers.

Replacements: Fualau, Lemalu, Tekori, Aiono, Poluleuligaga, G. Williams, Helleur.

Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

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