Depth of panel pleases Schmidt ahead of Pumas showdown
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Depth of panel pleases Schmidt ahead of Pumas showdown

IRELAND are likely to bring back the heavy artillery when they go head to head with World Cup nemesis Argentina at the Aviva this Saturday (6.30pm).

Captain Rory Best has been dogged with a hamstring injury since the midway part of the year but made his return to competitive action for Ulster in October.

Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw and CJ Stander are all expected to feature over the next two games against the Pumas.

Saturday has come too soon for Conor Murray but he hasn't been ruled out of contention for the clash with the All-Blacks next week.

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Captain Rory Best is back to full fitness after his hamstring injury and is expected to feature against Argentina and New Zealand (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Head coach Joe Schmidt faces a number of selection issues after Ireland’s comprehensive 54-7 victory against Italy in Chicago.

That victory demonstrates just how deep Ireland’s bench runs now, with flying fullback Jordan Larmour being particularly impressive on the day running in three tries.

Schmidt said:  “Jordan managed to get on the ball a number of times and the way he set up Luke McGrath for his try in the first half (was great).

“I do think it was a pretty spectacular effort from Jordan and he’ll be delighted with that. The first ball he took in the air was good as well.

“There’s a few positional things that he’s still working on and we wanted to spread his time across 15 and the wing. We know he can slot in at 13 as well.

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CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 03: Jordan Larmour #15 of Ireland outriuns Michele Campagnaro #14 of Italy for a try late in the game at Soldier Field on November 3, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Ireland defeated Italy 54-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

“I thought there was a number of guys who really worked hard. Rhys Ruddock was one of them. I thought Quinn Roux did really well, very physical and his ball presentation was good in the lead-up to that first try after half time.”

Future

The 53 year-old has committed to leading Ireland into the next World Cup but is remaining coy on whether he will continue in the role after that.

He does say the matter will be resolved one way or the other once the Autumn internationals are out of the way.

“Yes, by the end of November I will (make a decision). I think it’s one of those things where you’ve just got to sit down and make a decision. You can’t let it linger for two reasons really.”

“One, if I’m staying I want the clarity going forward, and if I’m not staying I want the clarity for the IRFU because I think half the job is what gets done under your watch, the other half of the job is how you leave it so that somebody else can pick it up. And so I want nice clarity either way.”

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