Kidney delays team announcement
November 17, 2008
Ireland coach Declan Kidney will name his side to face the Pumas on Thursday © Getty Images
Ireland have delayed their team announcement for Saturday's clash with Argentina at Croke Park by 48 hours.
Head coach Declan Kidney will announce an enlarged squad at lunchtime tomorrow before unveiling his starting line-up on Thursday morning. Kidney's hand has been forced by injury - most notably the dead legs sustained by Paul O'Connell and Rory Best in Saturday's 22-3 defeat by New Zealand.
Alan Quinlan's citing for stamping has further complicated matters with the Munster back row appearing before a disciplinary hearing this week. Saturday's showdown with Argentina - the rivals' ninth meeting in nine years - has taken on greater significance following the publication of the latest world rankings.
Ireland must prevail against the Pumas if they are to cling on to eighth place in the International Rugby Board standings. Scotland - who host Canada this weekend - are snapping at their heals at ninth in the table with both teams having one influential match remaining.
The rankings determine the seedings for the 2011 World Cup, to be announced on December 1, and Ireland are desperate to avoid the type of perilous group that contributed to their misery last autumn. Should they drop to ninth, they could be drawn in a pool featuring hosts New Zealand and France or England.
Argentina, who are desperate to hold onto fourth place at the expense of England, confirmed Ireland's demise in the final pool match of last year's World Cup.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament