Sean O’Brien to make Ireland return against Argentina while Jordan Larmour starts
Sean O’Brien will make his first Test start in almost a year when Ireland face Argentina in Dublin on Saturday.
Ireland have rolled out all their big guns to take on the Pumas, with boss Joe Schmidt restoring his first-choice XV following last weekend’s 54-7 win over Italy in Chicago.
Leinster and Lions flanker O’Brien has not featured for Ireland since the 29-18 win over the Pumas on November 25, 2017, missing their Six Nations Grand Slam triumph due to a hip problem and the series win in Australia with a shoulder injury.
Jordan Larmour keeps his place at full-back after his stellar hat-trick against Italy, with Rob Kearney ruled out through injury.
Bundee Aki partners Robbie Henshaw in the centres after Garry Ringrose was missing out due to a hip complaint.
Rory Best returns to captain Ireland with front-line stars Johnny Sexton, Keith Earls and Robbie Henshaw returning in the backline.
Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong are restored in a potent front row while James Ryan and Iain Henderson link up in the second row.
O’Brien is joined in the back row by fellow Lions Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander.
Schmidt hopes Kearney will be fit in time to face the All Blacks next weekend, while Ringrose is still trying to overcome the final effects of a minor hip complaint.
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“Rob Kearney was involved in the session today and ran really well,” said Schmidt.
“Garry didn’t train on Tuesday, he had a pinch. He could have played on Saturday but we didn’t want to take any risks.
“This way just gives us a little more time to make sure he’s ready for training on Monday for the following week. Garry just got a bang on the hip. He’s actually recovered from that mostly.
“But at the start of the week you’re just trying to make sure everything is as cohesive as possible.”
Ireland: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best (c), 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 James Ryan, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 7 Sean O’Brien, 8 CJ Stander.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Andrew Conway.
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