Injury to Dominic Crotty has given Staunton the opportunity to impress at full-back for Munster and his call up is well deserved.
The exclusion of Trevor Brennan however raised most eye-brows, the Leinster man having played inspirationally for his province this season and the omission must come as a huge disappointment to the Barnhall man. However, it will be recalled that Gary Longwell was the original choice before breaking his finger and Gatland referred to 'consistency of selection' in explaining his decision.
On their last visit to this country in 1996, Samoa won 40-25 at Lansdowne Road in 1996.
Ireland Squad. G Dempsey, G D'Arcy, J Staunton, J Bell, S Horgan, M Mullins, K Maggs, B O'Driscoll, D Hickie, D Humphreys, R O'Gara, P Stringer, G Easterby, P Clohessy, K Wood, F Sheahan, J Hayes, E Byrne, M Galwey, G Longwell, M O'Kelly, E Miller, A Foley, D Wallace, K Dawson.