november series

Gilroy earns Ireland chance against Pumas

Ulster winger Craig Gilroy will win his first Ireland cap in Saturday’s must-win test against Argentina.

HAT-TRICK HERO Craig Gilroy will be thrown into the Pumas’ den when he wins his first Ireland cap in the make-or-break test against Argentina.

With Ireland in need of a win to guarantee their place in the world’s top eight and favourable seeding for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, coach Declan Kidney has named his strongest team for Saturday’s final November Series match in Dublin.

Gilroy’s inclusion on the left is the only change from the XV which started the narrow defeat to South Africa a fortnight ago.

The winger stole the headlines when handed his first international start in last weekend’s non-cap international against Fiji, running in three of Ireland’s eight tries in a comfortable 53-0 win.

Ulster team-mate Andrew Trimble is the man to miss out and drops out of the matchday 22.

Defeat for Ireland would see them drop out of the top eight of the world rankings and into the third group of seeds when the World Cup draw is made on Monday week.

“In the great scheme of things, it’s an important game,” captain Jamie Heaslip admitted at the squad announcement at Carton House this afternoon. “But for us, it’s like any other game.

“We’ve all played in big games, in finals, in the Heineken Cup and internationals. We just have to treat it like we treat every game.

“I sound like a broken record but: control the controllables and focus on what we’ve been doing in training. Hopefully come the end of the week, we’ll play the way we’ve trained.”

Ireland team (v Argentina): Simon Zebo; Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Gordon D’Arcy, Craig Gilroy; Jonny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross; Donnacha Ryan, Mike McCarthy; Peter O’Mahony, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip (c).

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Dave Kilcoyne, Michael Bent, Donncha O’Callaghan, Iain Henderson, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O’Gara, Fergus McFadden.

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