Talking Points As Ireland Team Named For Argentina Test

Rex Christensen
November 10, 2018

Captain Rory Best and Johnny Sexton are among 12 changes to the Ireland team to face Argentina as Joe Schmidt reverts to a more familiar line-up.

Ireland XV to play Argentina: Jordan Larmour, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Kieran Marmion; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster).

Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Jack McGrath, 18-Andrew Porter, 19-Devin Toner, 20-Dan Leavy, 21-Luke McGrath, 22-Joey Carbery, 23-Andrew Conway.

Rob Kearney, who has a shoulder injury, and Garry Ringrose, who had a hip problem, are rested but available for next weekend's clash against world champions New Zealand. "I want to get back to being one of the best players", he continued.

"They understand fully that any who look that far ahead (to the All Blacks match) they compromise what they deliver this weekend", he said.

"I'd never describe anything as being on track, because there are so many variables between now and then that can upset what we're currently doing", he said at this afternoon's press conference at Carton House. I just want them to run harder so they can keep their distance.

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Ireland are hoping his return will help their push towards success at next year's World Cup in Japan where they have legitimate ambitions of success, but O'Brien is only setting himself small targets as he works his way back.

He will be tested defensively by Argentina, with Schmidt expecting his counterpart Mario Ledesma to come up with a "cunning plan" for Saturday's rematch in Dublin, pointing to the inclusion of lock Guido Petti in the back row.

"He was already coaching, he was already contributing", said Schmidt.

"If their back three get the ball the more likely they (the Argentinians) are going to break teams open, because they're tackle breakers, they're line breakers and they link up in behind the line really effectively once they break the line", said Schmidt.

"I think he had a lot of the (coaching) attributes". If Vern [Cotter] wasn't there I would always defer to Mario to drive the pack, mainly because I couldn't speak to them because of my hackneyed French phrases, and I had a limitation that was mostly backs-related.

"So he's already done an incredible job in broadening his own experiences". So that's who you want in charge of the national team. That's the stubborn part, where I won't give in to it.

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