Bundee Aki's absence is a blow for Ireland in the Rugby World Cup overall.
As The Irish Independent's Ruaidhri O'Connor explained, the impact on the long game will be sizeable, given Ireland will be more reliant on Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw for the remaining games.
It will be a moot point if Ireland lose to the All Blacks this weekend though, given it's the first knockout round. However, Aki could have played a pivotal role for Ireland on Saturday against New Zealand given how he performed in the last head-to-head in Dublin in 2018.
However, The New Zealand Herald's Gregor Paul believes the All Blacks will still be wary of Ringrose and Henshaw.
He was speaking to our own Eoin Sheahan in Japan as Ireland v New Zealand approaches.
"I like Garry Ringrose as a player. He's always impressed and he's been pretty good at this World Cup," he said.
"And the other one, Henshaw, he isn't too bad either. So I don't think the All Blacks will be sitting there going, 'No Bundee means we've got some particular advantage in the midfield'.
"Ireland are a good team, no matter who they put out there. Everyone is making a big, big deal about Bundee's red card. But Ireland will be putting out a midfield that will cause the All Blacks plenty of problems."
New Zealand have struggled against defences marshalled by Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell, including against the Lions.
"They've been working their way towards a different structure of attacking the game," he said.
"And they've got a whole series of ploys up their sleeves. We saw them deal pretty effectively with South Africa, who came at them hard with line speed and they were able to cope quite well. They found space, they probed, they kicked well. So I think we've seen a revolution within the All Blacks which has been caused by Andy Farrell. But that's why the All Blacks have been pretty keen about this game."
You can watch the full chat with Gregor Paul above via our YouTube channel.
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