Irish in the way of Pumas’ first semi

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Marcos Ayerza of Argentina in action during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Argentina and Georgia at Kingsholm Stadium on September 25, 2015 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Marcos Ayerza of Argentina in action during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Argentina and Georgia at Kingsholm Stadium on September 25, 2015 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) Laurence Griffiths

ARGENTINE prop Marcos Ayerza will put his Irish heritage to one side as the Pumas look to beat the home of his great, great grandfather in the quarter-final clash in Cardiff tomorrow night.

Ayerza is viewed as one of the best front-rowers in the world and is part of an Argentine scrum which will look to take on an Irish pack missing the likes of injured pair Paul O'Connell and Peter O'Mahony and the suspended Sean O'Brien.

Ireland's front-row trio of Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross are also among the best scrummagers going around and the Leicester forward is looking forward to the challenge.

"The Irish scrum has been efficient over the last year," Ayerza (pictured) told the UK's Daily Mail.

"I like to test myself at every scrum and to dominate the scrum if possible.

"Ireland have been very clinical, very good, tidy.

"Of course, they haven't been dominated but they haven't dominated many teams. We're planning to really take it to them."

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has chosen Iain Henderson, Chris Henry and Jordi Murphy in a rejigged pack aiming to create history and make a first World Cup semi-final.

Henderson will join Devin Toner in the second row, leaving Murphy to fill in at No. 6 for O'Mahony and Henry to start at openside.

In the backs, both Johnny Sexton and Keith Earls are expected to shake off injuries.


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