The Ireland team to play Argentina in the final game of the GUINNESS Series shows five changes to the starting line-up from last Saturday’s clash with New Zealand.
The first of the changes that head coach Declan Kidney has made sees Geordan Murphy slotting in at full-back in place of the injured Rob Kearney.
Andrew Trimble earns a recall on the left wing, taking over from the injured Luke Fitzgerald, while Peter Stringer will win his 95th cap at scrum half in the final switch in the back-line.
There are two changes to the front row with Sean Cronin taking over from the sidelined Rory Best and Tony Buckley, who missed the last two games due to a hip injury, has been selected at tighthead prop in place of Tom Court, who reverts to the replacements.
Hooker Damien Varley has made his first home matchday squad, having won his first cap as a replacement against Australia during the summer tour last June.
Centre Brian O’Driscoll will captain Ireland for the 70th time this weekend. His record as skipper reads: played 69, won 45, drawn 1 and lost 23.
Previewing Sunday’s encounter at the Aviva Stadium, O’Driscoll said: “It’s a special fixture because we’ve built up quite a lot of history together over the last 10 years or so.
“It’s not quite become a diary game, but not far off it. We’ve played Argentina at the last three World Cups. We’ve lost twice and won once.
“They’re always very tight, hard and physical games. When you play against Argentina it’s real, honest Test rugby. We both respect one another, but we both want to win badly and that’s why it’s become a special fixture.”
He added: “If you look at our previous matches against them they tend not to be things of beauty. Argentina make it difficult for you and that’s part of their gameplan, trying to stop you having possession.
“I’m not speaking ill of them by saying they try to turn it into a dogfight because that plays to their strengths. They have a big, strong pack. They’re huge, huge men and it will be the same this weekend.
“We must vary our game to keep them guessing. You can’t take them on at their strengths, you must move the ball around.”
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Argentina, 2010 GUINNESS Series, Aviva Stadium, Sunday, November 28, kick-off 2.30pm):
15 – Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers)
14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9 – Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
3 – Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
6 – Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 – David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
16 – Damien Varley (Garryowen/Munster)
17 – Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
18 – Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
19 – Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
20 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster
21 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 – Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)