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Ross ready for physical contest in Argentina

By Nick Purewal

While Stephen Ferris calls time on his career, his former Ireland colleagues are preparing for the first of two Tests against Argentina this month.

Argentina are resting many of their frontline players for the matches, the opener of which takes place at the Estadio Centenario in Resistencia this weekend, but Ireland prop Mike Ross believes the Pumas will still provide stern opposition.

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.

"They won't have 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.

"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.

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 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 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 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."

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