The Irish pack is exactly the same as in this fixture a year ago when the Irish won comfortably against a battle tired Argentine side playing the final game of their long season.
Today’s game is begin viewed by some as little more than a warm up for the “big one” next week, and yet still poses a few challenges.
|Cian Healy||1||Santiago Garcia Botta|
|Rory Best (Captain)||2||Agustin Creevy|
|Tadhg Furlong||3||Santiago Medrano|
|Iain Henderson||4||Matias Alemanno|
|James Ryan||5||Tomas Lavanini|
|Peter O’Mahony||6||Pablo Matera (Captain)|
|CJ Stander||7||Jaview Ortega Desio|
|Sean O’Brien||8||Guldo Petti|
|Kieran Marmion||9||Tomas Cubelli|
|Johnny Sexton||10||Nicolas Sanchez|
|Bundee Aki||11||Jeronimo De La Fuente|
|Jacob Stockdale||13||Ramiro Moyano|
|Keith Earls||14||Bautista Delguy|
|Jordan Larmour||15||Emiliano Boffelli|
The younger, less experienced members of the squad are likely to be targeted. Marmion and Larmour are the obvious targets. The latter is coming off a dream game against Italy last week, but it is unlikely he will have quite the same space against much better opposition today.
The pack, which with the exception of Toner, is about the strongest one Schmidt could have chosen, and will be expected to dominate most of the encounters. The line out and scrum may prove to be even enough, but I think Ireland will dominate in the ruck and maul areas.
This will give Marmion a decent chance to impress, linking up with Sexton and an exciting back line.
Garry Ringrose is absent today with a knock, adding to the injury list containing Rob Kearney and Connor Murray. But this gives Robbie Henshaw the opportunity to play at thirteen, where he can do some damage with his old teammate Bundee Aki at inside centre.
Jordan Larmour, the man of the moment, will have a big opportunity to show what he’s got, putting his hand up for selection next week. It’s good to see Keith Earls back and with Jabob Stockdale, this is an exciting backline.
Going forward at least. Jordan has not played with this combination of players and there are going to be defensive lapses until he gets used to them. He is not quite the same dependable player that Rob Kearney when the opposition has the ball.
I’m looking forward to today’s game, and hope we win. Getting a little momentum is all important going into the game against New Zealand in one week’s time. They face England this afternoon, although it is hard to see them being beaten. Perhaps no one will manage it on this tour. Here’s hoping we can surprise them.