Rory Best, Iain Henderson and Jacob Stockdale are named in the Irish squad to face Argentina in the final match of 2017 Guinness Series.
Adam Byrne is set to make his debut on the right wing while Chris Farrell retains his jersey at outside centre due to the absence of Robbie Henshaw .
Rory Best continues as captain at hooker and is joined by Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong in the front row. Healy performed admirably in his cameo against Fiji and looks an improved player since returning to the Irish set up. James Ryan partners Iain Henderson in the engine room while Joe Schmidt names a powerful back row with CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien all set to start.
Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton are restored to the starting lineup while Farrell is joined by Bundee Aki in midfield. Rob Kearney returns to fullback and Adam Byrne is named with Jacob Stockdale on the wings.
It’s the first meeting between both sides since Argentina’s demolition of Ireland in the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter finals. Since then the visitors have only mustered six wins in test matches and have only won twice this year.
In World Cups, Argentina have been something of a bogey team for Ireland, however in the previous matches at the Aviva Stadium and formerly named Lansdowne Road, Ireland have a 100% win record. Argentina defeated Italy 31-15 last week after succumbing to a 21-8 defeat against England the following week.
Ireland were defensively let down in that World Cup quarter final match with the channel between 13 and the wings being left massively exposed. Much of that was down to the passive defence that Argentina exploited, however their new, more aggressive ploy should neutralize the South American flair.
In attack, Ireland should look to get both wingers involved as much as possible. Both Farrell and Aki add a physical and skillful presence to midfield which is perfect for a Sexton loop, if used sparingly. Up front Ireland have grit and determination and I fancy the forwards to overpower their counterparts.
The FRU predicts: Despite CJ Stander playing down the idea of Ireland going for revenge in the press midweek, the side will typically well drilled and focused to put the Argentinians to the sword. Ireland by 15 points.
|Rob Kearney||15||Joaquin Tuculet|
|Adam Byrne||14||Ramiro Moyano|
|Chris Farrell||13||Matias Moroni|
|Bundee Aki||12||Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias|
|Jacob Stockdale||11||Emiliano Boffelli|
|Johnny Sexton||10||Nicolas Sanchez|
|Conor Murray||9||Martin Landajo|
|Cian Healey||1||Santiago Garcia Botta|
|Rory Best||2||Agustin Creevy (captain)|
|Tadhg Furlong||3||Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro|
|James Ryan||4||Matias Alemanno|
|Iain Henderson||5||Tomas Lavanini|
|Peter O’Mahony||6||Pablo Matera|
|Sean O’Brien||7||Marcos Kremer|
|CJ Stander||8||Tomas Lezana|
|James Tracy||16||Julian Montoya|
|Dave Kilcoyne||17||Lucas Noguera|
|John Ryan||18||Enrique Pieretto|
|Devin Toner||19||Guido Petti|
|Rhys Ruddock||20||Juan Manuel Leguizamon|
|Luke McGrath||21||Gonzalo Bertranou|
|Ian Keatley||22||Jeronimo de la Fuente|
|Andrew Conway||23||Sebastian Cancelliere|