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Rugby | International Rugby

Gilroy gets Ireland start against Pumas



Ireland left wing Craig Gilroy is set to make his first test start after being named in the XV for Saturday's crunch clash against Argentina at Dublin's Landowne Road.

Gilroy, 21, replaces Ulster colleague Andrew Trimble in the only change to the Ireland side beaten 16-12 by South Africa a fortnight ago.

Saturday's match will be Ireland's first full test since that defeat by the Springboks, with Gilroy rewarded after impressing with three tries in the intervening non-cap 53-0 rout of Fiji at Thomond Park last weekend.

This weekend's test has a wider importance for both sides, with the winners guaranteed a place in the top eight of the International Rugby Board rankings used to determine the seedings for next month's 2015 World Cup draw.

The losers, by contrast, will slip into the third tier of nations for next month's draw in London and so face the daunting prospect of being placed in a pool with two higher ranked countries, with only two from each group qualifying for the quarterfinals, at the next World Cup in England in three years' time.

Ireland go into the weekend on the back of a five-match losing run, their worst sequence in tests for 14 years and are missing several injured senior players including Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell, Rory Best, Stephen Ferris, Sean O'Brien and Rob Kearney.

Argentina, beaten 39-22 by France in Lille last weekend will be looking to add another 'scalp' this tour on Saturday following their impressive 26-12 victory over Six Nations Grand Slam champions Wales in Cardiff on November 10.

Ireland team Simon Zebo; Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Gordon D'Arcy, Craig Gilroy; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip (capt), Chris Henry, Peter O'Mahony; Mike McCarthy, Donnacha Ryan; Mike Ross, Richardt Strauss, Cian Healy

Replacements: Sean Cronin, David Kilcoyne, Michael Bent, Donncha O'Callaghan, Iain Henderson, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O'Gara, Fergus McFadden

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