Ireland will face their first real test of the November Internationals this evening, when Joe Schmidt's men host Argentina at the Aviva Stadium. The South Americans will come to town with revenge on their minds, having fallen to a 28-19 defeat in the same fixture one year ago.
They are an opponent Ireland have struggled to cope with over the years, with famous losses in the 1999, 2007 and 2015 World Cups still fresh in the mind of Irish rugby supporters. The 2015 loss was especially difficult to swallow, with Ireland having topped their pool after a famous victory over France. As we continue to build towards next years tournament, this is a crucial game for both sides.
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Ireland are without Rob Kearney and Garry Ringrose in this game due to injury, with Jordan Larmour getting the nod at fullback after his incredible three try performance against Italy in Chicago last week. Irish fans will be hoping he can transfer that form to matches against higher quality opposition, and today's game should be a good test for the Leinster man.
After that comfortable victory in the USA, this game will be the perfect warm-up for the titanic clash with New Zealand next week. A win in that game could be enough to send Ireland top of the world rankings for the first time in our history. After the famous loss in Chicago two years ago, the All Blacks will no doubt be looking to prove a point by responding with a victory on Irish soil.
Argentina meanwhile enter this fixture having experienced a mixed year in terms of results. They finished bottom of the Rugby Championship table, one point behind Australia. They did produce two wins in that tournament however, including a historic victory over the Australians in Queensland.
They will enter the November Internationals hoping to give a better account of themselves than they did last year, when a win over Italy was sandwiched between comfortable losses to England and Ireland.
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