DUBLIN (Reuters) - Centre Robbie Henshaw will miss Ireland’s final November test series game against Argentina on Saturday with a hamstring injury, allowing Munster’s Chris Farrell to keep his place after making his debut in last week’s win over Fiji.
Coach Joe Schmidt turned mostly to the side that produced a record 38-3 win over South Africa two weeks ago as Ireland go for a November clean sweep.
They will rely on a centre pairing of Farrell and Bundee Aki with just two international caps between them, while Schmidt has also handed Leinster’s Adam Byrne his Ireland debut on the wing.
“Chris acquitted himself pretty well last week and he got better as the game went on so it’s another window of opportunity for him,” Schmidt told a news conference on Thursday.
The inclusion of 23-year-old Byrne means Schmidt will have used each member of his squad that has been fit for selection this month as he builds towards the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
In their most recent meeting, Ireland were knocked out of the last World Cup by Argentina.
Saturday may also provide a preview of Ireland’s second row partnership in two years time as 21-year-old Leinster lock James Ryan makes his first international start and partners fellow ball playing forward Iain Henderson.
Ryan, a former Ireland under-20 captain who stands at 2.03-metres tall (6 foot 8 inches), has made three international appearances off the bench so far and excelled in a similar number of cameo appearances for Leinster.
“He’s a big man but he’s got that intelligent nous about him and he gets stuck in when he’s asked to. He’s been quite impressive in training,” Ireland captain Peter O‘Mahony said.
Ireland team to face Argentina on Saturday (1715 GMT):
15-Rob Kearney, 14-Adam Byrne, 13-Chris Farrell, 12-Bundee Aki, 11-Jacob Stockdale, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Conor Murray; 8-CJ Stander, 7-Sean O‘Brien, 6-Peter O‘Mahony, 5-James Ryan, 4-Iain Henderson, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 2-Rory Best (captain), 1-Cian Healy
Replacements: 16-James Tracy, 17-David Kilcoyne, 18-John Ryan, 19-Devin Toner, 20-Rhys Ruddock, 21-Luke McGrath, 22-Ian Keatley, 23-Andrew Conway.
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Alexander Smith