/ Rugby

Ireland's Mike Ross expects tough Argentina challenge

Updated: Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 19:11 | Comments

Mike Ross: 'They won't have the Lobbes or some of the big names you come to expect when you are playing Argentina'
Mike Ross: 'They won't have the Lobbes or some of the big names you come to expect when you are playing Argentina'

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Despite Argentina resting many of their frontline players, Ireland prop Mike Ross believes the Pumas will still provide stern opposition.

Joe Schmidt’s side face the hosts on Saturday at 7.40pm in the first of two Tests.

On what Ireland can expect from their hosts, Ross said:  "The same thing we always get from Argentina, a hard physical performance.

"I know they are missing a lot of their big names but the team they have got has just come off a good run of six or seven victories in a row against teams like the Waratahs A and a good few professional sides.

"They won't have the Lobbes or some of the big names you come to expect when you are playing Argentina in Argentina but it doesn't make it an easy game by any means.

"We have got some video of some of their games so we will be looking to go with that over the next couple of days and make sure we know what each player is going to bring," said the 34-year old.

"I know they are missing a lot of their big names but the team they have got has just come off a good run"

The Leinster tighthead, an ever-present for Ireland in the last four RBS Six Nations campaigns, goes into the tour on the back of winning another RaboDirect PRO12 medal last weekend but he is disappointed that team-mate Marty Moore had to withdraw because of injury.

"It was really bad timing, he has been going really well this season, putting me under a hell of a lot of pressure and he was probably in line to get his first start at one point during this season, but with him going out it gives the opportunity to Rodney Ah You, who has been going really well with Connacht this season," said Ross.

Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek believes it is a great opportunity for Ah You to make a mark on the international scene.

"I'm a bit disappointed for Marty with his toe, it's a shame for him but, having said that, it's a good chance to look at Rodney and see what he brings," said Feek.

"He's a big man, 124kg, and in terms of the scrum if he can anchor that tighthead, that's his role on tour for us.

"He's got Mike Ross there at the other end of the spectrum with a lot of experience and he can learn off him and Rory Best as well, so it will be interesting to see how he goes and get to know him a little bit."

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