November 22, 2017 / 11:19 AM / a year ago

Ireland look to put down early Six Nations marker

DUBLIN (Reuters) - A clean sweep of their November tests will see Ireland put down a strong marker for next year’s Six Nations Championship, scrumhalf Conor Murray said ahead of Saturday’s game against Argentina in Dublin.

“We’ve been building week-on-week here and this week is a big opportunity to put down a marker. November is really important, but we’re building for other things as well,” he told reporters on Wedensday.

“That’s the way we view it because by the time the Six Nations comes around you’re going to come up against some really tough teams and you’re going to need to know how to play with each other pretty sharpish.”

The Six Nations featuring holders England, France, Italy, Scotland and Wales as well as Ireland starts on Feb. 3 when the Irish open their campaign against France.

Ireland made a convincing start to their three-test schedule in Dublin with a 38-3 thrashing of South Africa on Nov. 11 but needed a late penalty to beat Fiji last week, albeit playing with a second string side.

Argentina offer another tough test in the first meeting between the pair since the Pumas beat Ireland 43-20 in the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals.

“People have asked me already: ‘Is it about the World Cup last time round?’ That’s going to be in some people’s heads. It’s natural as that was the last time we played them but this is such a new group, said Murray.

“This November has been a chance to get back together from the Lions tour and from the American/Japan tour, and just get everyone together, and get going again.”

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris

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