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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Ireland v Argentina – RWC Stat Attack

Ireland v Argentina – RWC Stat Attack

We take a look at some of the key facts and figures ahead of Ireland’s eagerly-awaited Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 1pm).

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

– These teams have met 15 times in total since their first clash on October 27, 1990, a match at Lansdowne Road that finished 20-18 to the hosts

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– Ireland have won 10 of these encounters and Argentina five, but the Six Nations champions have been victorious in each of the last five encounters

– Their most recent meeting was a 23-17 win on June 14, 2014 in Tucuman, Argentina

Simon Zebo and Ian Madigan scored tries, and Jonathan Sexton kicked 11 points, with Madigan adding the conversion to his own try

– Joaquin Tuculet and Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, the RWC 2015 squad’s full-backs, scored a try each, with Nicolas Sanchez and Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, the RWC 2015 out-halves, kicking seven points between them

– RWC matches, however, see a reversal in fortunes, with Argentina winning two of the teams’ three clashes to date

– Their last RWC match was also the last time Argentina beat Ireland, 30-15, in a Pool D clash on September 30, 2007 that saw the Pumas top their pool and Ireland fail to progress to the knockout stages for the first time in their history

– Horacio Agulla, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, and Juan Martin Hernandez were all in the Pumas’ starting line-up that day and are in the RWC 2015 squad. Agulla scored a try and Hernandez landed three drop goals from five attempts

Eoin Reddan and Paul O’Connell were in the Ireland starting line-up and Rory Best was the replacement hooker for the 2007 encounter

– In 2003, Ireland beat Argentina 16-15 in Pool A, with a try from Alan Quinlan (pictured above), converted by David Humphreys, and penalties from Humphreys and Ronan O’Gara. Juan Martin Hernandez was named among the Argentina replacements but was not used

– In 1999, Argentina knocked Ireland out of the quarter-final play-offs with a 28-24 win. David Humphreys and Gonzalo Quesada scored seven penalties each, a RWC record (joint with the 14 penalties scored in Australia’s 27-21 victory over South Africa in the same tournament)

– Australian scrum coach Mario Ledesma is one of two Argentina players to have played in both victories against Ireland in RWCs, along with prop Omar Hasan. While Ledesma is fixing the Wallaby scrum, Hasan is a professional baritone who has recorded an album of opera music

IRELAND:

– Currently ranked third in the World Rugby rankings, having moved up two places since last week

– This match will be Ireland’s sixth quarter-final, together with a quarter-final play-off in 1999. Ireland have never won a knockout match at the RWC

– The starting line-up against Argentina contains 659 Test caps and has an average starting age of 28 years and 201 days, their youngest of RWC 2015 and their youngest since the 45-17 win over Romania in RWC 2003

– The front row is unchanged and plays together for the 31st time, extending their professional era and northern Hemisphere record

Rory Best (pictured below) wins his 11th RWC cap, becoming Ireland’s most-capped RWC hooker

Eoin Reddan could win his 11th RWC cap off the bench, and become Ireland’s joint-fourth all-time RWC caps holder with Brendan Mullin, Malcolm O’Kelly, Rory Best and Donncha O’Callaghan

Ian Madigan needs four points to overtake Jonathan Sexton as Ireland’s leading scorer of RWC 2015

Rhys Ruddock could make his RWC debut off the bench, having joined the squad late as an injury replacement for Peter O’Mahony

– Number 8 Jamie Heaslip captains Ireland for the 12th time

ARGENTINA:

– Currently ranked sixth in the World Rugby rankings, having risen one place since last week

– This will be Argentina’s fourth quarter-final. In 1999 and 2011 they were knocked out at this stage, but in 2007 they won the bronze final match to finish third

– In quarter-final matches at RWCs, Argentina have faced northern Hemisphere opposition twice, losing to France in 1999 but defeating Scotland in 2007

– Head coach Daniel Hourcade makes 10 changes from the team that beat Namibia, the most changes made to an Argentina side, except for the 11 made between the Tonga and Namibia matches, since the opening two games of RWC 2007

– Martin Landajo will win his 50th cap and is the most used Pumas player under Daniel Hourcade

– Juan Martin Hernandez, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, and Marcos Ayerza all played in the 2007 bronze final

– Fernandez Lobbe will play in his 15th RWC match, putting him fourth in the all-time Argentina list for RWC appearances

– Agustin Creevy will make his 10th RWC appearance

– Juan Imhoff, currently the leading RWC try-scoring Puma with five tries, can extend his record

– Juan Martin Hernandez needs one more drop goal to move into third on the all-time RWC list