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Ireland will face New Zealand in Tokyo next Saturday after Japan’s 28-21 win over Scotland saw them top Pool A at their home World Cup.
Yesterday’s 47-5 win over Samoa was enough to earn Joe Schmidt’s side a place in the last eight, but their loss to the hosts in round two cost them an extra day’s preparation and sets them up for the toughest quarter-final they have ever faced against the reigning world champions who are going for three in a row.
Japan will take on South Africa on Sunday in Tokyo, with England playing Australia on Saturday and Australia facing Wales on Sunday. Both of those games will be held in the southern city of Oita.
Ireland can draw on their 2016 and 2018 wins over Steve Hansen’s men, while a large contingent of their starting XV were part of the Lions side that beat them in Wellington in 2017.
But prop Tadhg Furlong warned past experience will count for little between the white lines in Tokyo next week.
“I suppose you can draw a bit of confidence from that but rugby evolves and it evolves quickly,” he said.
“We haven’t played them in
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