History will be made at Tallaght Stadium tonight when Ireland ‘A’ host the Argentina Jaguares in the first international rugby match to take place at the Dublin 24 venue. The reigning Churchill Cup champions are gunning for their sixth successive win of 2009.
‘A’ INTERNATIONAL MATCH: Friday, November 27
IRELAND ‘A’ v ARGENTINA JAGUARES, Tallaght Stadium, 7.30pm
Tickets for the game are still available from the O2 Store in the Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght and you can also pay at the gate before kick-off at Tallaght Stadium. Don’t miss this chance to see some of Irish rugby’s rising stars!
Team News: Munster’s Mick O’Driscoll will captain the Ireland ‘A’ team against the Argentina Jaguares in the historic first ever international rugby match at Tallaght Stadium.
The selected Ireland ‘A’ side contains seven full internationals in the starting team and overall 13 players who were involved in the Churchill Cup success during the summer.
The ‘A’ team’s last outing saw them record a 48-19 win over Tonga at Ravenhill and the team to play the Jaguares has 10 changes to the starting line-up from the Tongan game.
In the backs, Felix Jones is at full-back in place of Gavin Duffy and both wings have also changed with Ian Dowling replacing Shane Horgan and Johne Murphy, who was on the bench against Tonga, starting in place of Andrew Trimble.
Fergus McFadden moves to outside centre instead of Darren Cave and Keith Matthews is rewarded with a start at number 12.
Ian Humphreys has been retained at out-half and will be partnered by his Ulster colleague Isaac Boss.
John Fogarty, who was originally due to play against Tonga but remained with the senor squad as cover for Jerry Flannery, starts at hooker in place of his injured brother Denis.
There are two new second rows in Ryan Caldwell and skipper O’Driscoll, as Devin Toner is rotated out and Donnacha Ryan starts in the back row for this game.
He is joined there by Niall Ronan at openside, in place of Sean O’Brien, and John Muldoon will play at number 8, with Chris Henry reverting to the replacements.
Meanwhile, Argentina Jaguares coaches Jose Orengo and Raul Perez have selected a much-changed starting line-up to the one that secured a 24-13 victory over Portugal in Lisbon last weekend.
The Jaguares have had a busy schedule in recent weeks with victories over Canada ‘A’, British Columbia and a USA Selection before they lost 24-22 to Georgia in a match in Tbilisi which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Georgian Rugby Union.
The Jaguares’ selection is dominated by home-based players, with Belisario Agulla moving to full-back and scrum half Martin Landajo joining Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias at half-back.
Rosario clubman Leonardo Senatore, the team captain, moves to openside flanker, having worn the number 8 jersey against Portugal.
Tighthead prop Gaston De Robertis is the only survivor in the front row, and Mariano Galarza has replaced Hugo Schierano in the second row.
The Argentinians have three European-based players in their side, including former Leinster prop Juan Gomez, who joined Leeds Carnegie last season, Bourgoin centre Matias Viazzo and Parma hooker Alvaro Tejeda.
IRELAND ‘A’: Felix Jones; Ian Dowling, Fergus McFadden, Keith Matthews, Johne Murphy; Ian Humphreys, Isaac Boss; Brett Wilkinson, John Fogarty, Mike Ross, Ryan Caldwell, Mick O’Driscoll (capt), Donnacha Ryan, Niall Ronan, John Muldoon.
Replacements: Andy Kyriacou, Bryan Young, Ed O’Donoghue, Chris Henry, Frank Murphy, Ian Keatley, Denis Hurley.
ARGENTINA JAGUARES: Belisario Agulla (Hindú); Francisco Merello (Regatas de Bella Vista), Matías Viazzo (Bourgoin), Miguel Avramovic (La Plata), Tomás De Vedia (S.I.C); Santiago González Iglesias (Asociación Alumni), Martín Landajo (C.A.S.I); Juan Gómez (Leeds Carnegie), Álvaro Tejeda (Overmach Parma), Gastón De Robertis (Regatas de Bella Vista), Tomás Roan (La Plata), Mariano Galarza (Universitario de La Plata), Agustín Guzmán (Tucumán), Leonardo Senatore (Rosario) (capt), Benjamín Macome (Tucumán).
Replacements: Matias Cortese (Cuyo), Nahuel Chaparro Tetaz (La Plata), Rodrigo Bruno (Cordobesa), Ignacio Pasman (Champagnat), Francisco Albarracin (La Plata), Nicolas Sanchez (Tucumán), Juan Pablo Estelles (Atlético de Rosario).
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: John Carvill, Leo Colgan (both Ireland)
Match Odds (Paddy Power): Ireland ‘A’ to win: 1/16; Draw: 25/1; Argentina Jaguares to win: 13/2
Pre-Match Links –
Recent Form: Ireland ‘A’ – 2009: ‘A’ International: Ireland ‘A’ 35 Scotland ‘A’ 10; Churchill Cup: Ireland ‘A’ 30 Canada 19; Churchill Cup: Ireland ‘A’ 40 Georgia 5; Churchill Cup Final: Ireland ‘A’ 49 England Saxons 22; ‘A’ International: Ireland ‘A’ 48 Tonga 19