Rory Best, Iain Henderson and Jacob Stockdale are the Ulster representation in Ireland team to take on Argentina on Saturday in the second match of this Autumn International series.
In all, Joe Schmidt has made 12 changes to the side that defeated Italy with ease in Chicago last week including a completely new pack, showcasing once again what great depth Ireland have developed over the last couple of years.
Best captains the side from hooker and is joined in the front row by Leinster pair, Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong. There’s no room for Tadhg Beirne as James Ryan forms a powerful partnership with Iain Henderson. Peter O’Mahony starts on the blindside with Sean O’Brien on the openside and Munster’s CJ Stander at number eight.
There’s no room for John Cooney in the matchday 23 as Kieran Marmion starts at scrum half and Luke McGrath is named on the bench. Johnny Sexton returns to the ten jersey while Bundee Aki is one of three players to retain their jersey from last week with the others being Jordan Larmour and Jacob Stockdale. Robbie Henshaw starts at outside centre. Keith Earls comes in for Andrew Conway on the right wing.
After a fairly comfortable result in Chicago, it’s back to familiar fields for Ireland with the visit of Argentina to Dublin. Argentina pose a bigger threat to Ireland than Italy did, having put in a decent showing in the Rugby Championship even though it culminated in a bottom place finish. Nevertheless, they defeated Australia 23-19 in Queensland which was their first win on Australian soil in 35 years.
It’s only the second time Ireland have faced Los Pumas since their World Cup quarter final humbling in 2015. Last year Ireland won 28-19 thanks to two Jacob Stockdale tries as well as one from CJ Stander. The home side lead 13-0 at the break and 25-7 with half an hour remaining before two Argentine tries from Juan Manuel Leguizamon and Ramiro Moyano.
Nicolas Sanchez scored four tries from out half for his side during the Rugby Championship and put a man of the match win in aforementioned victory over Australia.
With Argentina always renowned for the pace they play the game at, it is to the surprise of no one that they have unearthed another two gems in the back three. Bautista Delguy and Emiliano Boffelli are the visitors dangerous strike runners and both scored three tries in their debut Rugby Championship season. Both are dangerous runners and profit hugely off the vision of Sanchez at ten as well as Argentina’s loose style of play.
While Argentina do pose threats to Ireland, they are still vulnerable away from home having won just three times in their last 15 away trips. In the summer, Wales and Scotland both came away with comfortable wins against Argentina on their tour, showing that while Argentina have a talented bunch of players, they’re still not quite the finished article.
The FRU predicts: I think Argentina will cause Ireland a few problems early on but once Ireland settle down, it should be a fairly routine victory.
|Jordan Larmour||15||Emiliano Boffelli|
|Keith Earls||14||Bautista Delguy|
|Robbie Henshaw||13||Matias Orlando|
|Bundee Aki||12||Jeronimo de la Fuente|
|Jacob Stockdale||11||Ramiro Moyano|
|Johnny Sexton||10||Nicolas Sanchez|
|Kieran Marmion||9||Tomas Cubelli|
|Cian Healy||1||Santiago Garcia Botta|
|Rory Best||2||Agustin Creevy|
|Tadhg Furlong||3||Santiago Medrano|
|Iain Henderson||4||Matia Alemanno|
|James Ryan||5||Tomas Lavanini|
|Peter O’Mahony||6||Pablo Matera|
|Sean O’Brien||7||Guido Petti Pagadizaval|
|CJ Stander||8||Javier Ortega Desio|
|Sean Cronin||16||Julian Montoya|
|Jack McGrath||17||Juan Pablo Zeiss|
|Andrew Porter||18||Lucio Sordoni|
|Devin Toner||19||Rodrigo Bruni|
|Dan Leavy||20||Tomas Lezana|
|Luke McGrath||21||Gonzalo Bertranou|
|Joey Carbery||22||Joaquin Diaz Bonilla|
|Andrew Conway||23||Matias Moroni|