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Summer Tour Second Test Preview: Argentina v Ireland

Summer Tour Second Test Preview: Argentina v Ireland

Ireland will end the 2013/14 season with their sixth win in seven Tests if they can beat Argentina in the Admiral William Brown Cup series decider in Tucumán today.

SUMMER TOUR – SECOND TEST: Saturday, June 14

ARGENTINA v IRELAND, Estadio José Fierro, Tucumán, 3.40pm local time/7.40pm Irish time (live Sky Sports 2 HD/IRFU Live Blog)

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Team News: Ahead of the second and final Test of the summer tour, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has made seven personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that beat the Pumas 29-17 in Resistencia last Saturday.

Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock will make his first start for Ireland, winning his third cap in a back row that contains Chris Henry and Jamie Heaslip who returns at number 8.

Devin Toner also comes back into the starting line-up, rejoining captain Paul O’Connell in the second row. O’Connell’s Munster colleague Dave Kilcoyne is set for his second start in 10 Tests in the front row.

Rob Kearney replaces Felix Jones at full-back with both wingers Andrew Trimble and Simon Zebo retained from the opening Test win last weekend.

Fergus McFadden is promoted from the bench to wear the number 13 jersey with Darren Cave switching to inside centre. It will be McFadden’s first start at outside centre since the 2012 Six Nations game against Wales.

Eoin Reddan comes in at scrum half some seven years on from his first start in green during the 2007 summer tour to Argentina.

There are three uncapped players on the replacements bench – Ulster hooker Rob Herring, Munster prop James Cronin and Leinster’s Noel Reid.

Meanwhile, Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade has made two changes in personnel for his side’s second successive clash with the reigning Six Nations champions.

Broken arm victim Benjamin Macome is replaced at number 8 by Antonio Ahualli de Chazal whose two previous caps came in the South American Championship last month.

The only other alteration sees Oyonnax clubman Lucas González Amorosino start on the right wing in place of Santiago Cordero.

The Pumas have brought three new players onto the bench – front rowers Santiago Iglesias Valdez and Matias Diaz and outside back Matias Orlando who have 19 caps between them.

Iglesias Valdez, Orlando and starters Gabriel Ascarate and Lucas Noguera Paz all play their club rugby locally in Tucumán.

Argentina have held five previous Test matches against touring teams in Tucumán, with wins over Japan in 1993, Italy in 1995 and Wales in 2004 and two defeats to Scotland in 2010 and France in 2012.

ARGENTINA: Joaquin Tuculet (Unattached); Lucas González Amorosino (Oyonnax), Jerónimo de la Fuente (Duendes RC), Gabriel Ascarate (Natación y Gimnasia), Manuel Montero (Pucará); Nicolás Sánchez (Bordeaux-Bègles), Martín Landajo (CASI) (capt), Lucas Noguera Paz (Lince RC), Matías Cortese (Liceo RC), Ramiro Herrera (Castres Olympique), Manuel Carizza (Stormers), Tomas Lavanini (Hindú Club), Rodrigo Baez (Liceo RC), Tomás de la Vega (CUBA), Antonio Ahualli de Chazal (SIC).

Replacements: Santiago Iglesias Valdez (Universitario), Bruno Postiglioni (La Plata RC), Matías Díaz (Highlanders), Matías Alemanno (La Tablada), Javier Ortega Desio (Estudiantes de Paraná), Tomás Cubelli (Belgrano Athletic), Santiago González Iglesias (Asociación Alumni), Matias Orlando (Huirapuca).

IRELAND: Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster); Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster); Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster); Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) (capt), Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster).

Replacements: Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster), James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster), Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster).

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), John Lacey (Ireland)
Television Match Official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Argentina to win: 9/1; Draw: 35/1; Ireland to win: 1/25

Pre-Match Quotes: Jamie Heaslip (Ireland) – “It’s just about building on it (last week’s win), it’s kind of like a back-to-back Heineken Cup week, when you play those games and you play very well in the first week it’s almost harder to go again the next week.

“But we got a good mix of patches of very good stuff, patches of stuff that’s not so good and really we’ve played better as a team, but we have very good passages to build on. Argentina are going to learn from their mistakes and will be confident that they can build on their line breaks as well.

“We made eight changes from the last Test game, three guys got capped so it’s great in terms of building a squad going forward into 18 months from now. That’s a massive plus, lads getting experience at international level in places that we need.

“If you want a strong squad you want guys who are confident and experienced at international level, who can come off the bench at vital moments. We’re going up against decent opposition, Joe has taken the chance to freshen it up and I think we’ll benefit from it.”

Dave Kilcoyne (Ireland) – “It has been a long year (since my last start). I was bitterly disappointed to miss out at the start of the year with the November internationals.

“Joe brought me into the wider training group for the Six Nations. I was real hungry to get back in and was just trying to put my best foot forward with Munster. And in fairness to Joe, he’s watching every game and I’m delighted to be back starting this week.

“Joe gave me certain things around ball focus, areas around the chop tackle, that kind of thing, things that have really helped me. I think he opens your mind to how he sees the game being played.

“I identified weaknesses in my game and they have really come on. Hopefully, the management have seen that and they are rewarding me with the start this week.”

Pre-Match Links –

Head-To-Head: Ireland v Argentina

Irlanda v Argentina: La Copa Almirante Brown

Irish Rugby TV: Ireland Team Announcement Press Conference

Irish Rugby TV: Jonathan Sexton’s Kicking Practice

Irish Rugby TV: Iain Henderson Expects Tougher Challenge In Tucumán

Irish Rugby TV: Irish Ambassador’s Reception In Buenos Aires

In Pics: Ireland Training In Tucumán

GUINNESS Series Tickets On Sale Now

Recent Meetings –

2008: GUINNESS Series: Ireland 17 Argentina 3, Croke Park

2010: GUINNESS Series: Ireland 29 Argentina 9, Aviva Stadium

2012: GUINNESS Series: Ireland 46 Argentina 24, Aviva Stadium

2014: Summer Tour First Test: Argentina 17 Ireland 29, Estadio Centenario, Resistencia

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