Best returns to captain Ireland against Argentina


Jordan Larmour scored a hat-trick of tries for Ireland against Italy
Ireland v Argentina
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 10 November Time: 18:30 GMT
Coverage: Radio commentary on BBC Radio Ulster; live text and match report on BBC Sport website.

Rory Best will return to captain the Ireland team in Saturday’s autumn Test against Argentina at the Aviva Stadium.

The Ulster hooker missed the summer tour of Australia with a torn hamstring but starts alongside Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong in the front row.

Rob Kearney is unavailable so Jordan Larmour will continue at full-back following his hat-trick against Italy.

Coach Joe Schmidt has recalled Johnny Sexton, Sean O’Brien and Robbie Henshaw, who were all rested last week.

Larmour, 21, has retained his place in the starting team after veteran full-back Kearney only returned to training this week, with Munster’s Andrew Conway providing cover on the bench.

O’Brien, whose last appearance for Ireland was against the Pumas almost a year ago, will partner Munster pair Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander in the back row.

Sean O’Brien has not played for Ireland for almost a year

Garry Ringrose has been ruled out of this weekend’s match with a hip injury so his Leinster team-mate Henshaw will partner Bundee Aki in the centre.

Schmidt left a number of his frontline personnel at home for the eight-try thumping of the Italians but predictably recalls a host of his biggest names for what promises to be a sterner test at the hands of the Argentines in Dublin.

Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion has won the battle to claim the number nine shirt in the continued absence of Conor Murray, who has a neck injury, with Luke McGrath selected among the replacements.

Lock Tadhg Beirne is not included in the match-day 23 despite last week’s two-try performance in Chicago on his full debut.

Home-grown Pumas

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has selected a team of entirely home-based players with the bulk of the squad picked from the Super Rugby side the Jaguares.

In an attempt to disrupt the Ireland line-out, second row Guido Petti has been included in the Pumas back row while tight-head prop Santiago Medrano will make just his second Test start.

Scrum-half Tomas Cubelli is one of five players recalled to the starting team that started the last Rugby Championship match against Australia in October with winger Bautista Delguy also returning to the backline.

Ledesma has won two and lost four of his six matches as the Pumas head coach since he was appointed in August.

Ireland: J Larmour (Leinster); K Earls (Munster), R Henshaw (Leinster), B Aki (Connacht), J Stockdale (Ulster); J Sexton (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster) (capt), T Furlong (Leinster); I Henderson (Ulster), James Ryan (Leinster); P O’Mahony (Munster), S O’Brien (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), J McGrath (Leinster), A Porter (Leinster), D Toner (Leinster), D Leavy (Leinster), Luke McGrath (Leinster), J Carbery (Munster), A Conway (Munster).

Argentina (all Jaguares unless stated): E Boffelli; B Delguy, M Orlando, J de la Fuente, R Moyano; N Sanchez, T Cubelli; S Garcia Botta, A Creevy, S Medrano; M Alemanno, T Lavanini, P Matera (capt), G Petti, J Ortega Desio.

Replacements: J Montoya, JP Zeiss (Los Matreros), L Sordoni (Atletico del Rosario), R Bruni (San Luis), T Lezana, G Bertranou, J Diaz Bonilla, M Moroni.

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