Hamstrung Henshaw misses out on Argentina clash as Adam Byrne earns debut

Chris Farrell and Bundee Aki will form a centre partnership with two caps’ worth of experience.

Adam Byrne with Joe Schmidt Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

LEINSTER WING ADAM Byrne has been named to start Ireland’s final November series Test against Argentina this Saturday (kick-off 17.30). But a “slight hamstring strain” will keep Robbie Henshaw out.

Joe Schmidt has handed a first cap to 23-year-old Byrne who was, until today, in danger of being the last man in this month’s national squad without match minutes.

After the early portion of his career was ravaged by broken legs, the Kildare man has thrived over the past year for his province, adding a multi-dimensional attacking threat for Leo Cullen’s side.

James Ryan James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Ryan comes in for his first international start after three caps as a replacement and slots in alongside Iain Henderson to enforce a rare bench role on Devin Toner.

Byrne’s inclusion opposite Ulster starlet Jacob Stockdale means a demotion for Andrew Conway who, having waited until March for a Test debut, has started each of the last four internationals, including three straight 80-minute stints against Japan, South Africa and Fiji.

Henshaw was due to reunite with former Connacht team-mate Bundee Aki in Ireland’s midfield for a second time this month, but a hamstring issue has brought Chris Farrell into the number 13 shirt a week after making his debut against Fiji.

Adam Byrne and Iain Henderson James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Henshaw’s absence means 12 of the team that started the commanding win over South Africa earlier this month have been recalled.

Cian Healy’s exceptional form again earns him the number one jersey alongside captain Rory Best. The all-Lions back row of Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and CJ Stander return to help enforce a breakdown which was a key work-on all week in Schmidt’s camp.

Among the replacements, Ian Keatley and  Luke McGrath play understudy to Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray. James Tracy gets the nod ahead of Rob Herring as back-up hooker with Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan also back in the mix.

Ireland (v Argentina)

15. Rob Kearney
14. Adam Byrne
13. Chris Farrell
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Jonathan Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (Captain)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. James Ryan
5. Iain Henderson
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Sean O’Brien
8. CJ Stander


16. James Tracy
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. John Ryan
19. Devin Toner
20. Rhys Ruddock
21. Luke McGrath
22. Ian Keatley
23. Andrew Conway

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