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Jackson reaches 200 Irish caps but Argentina spoil celebration

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By Graham Hamilton

Ulster's John Jackson and Leinster's Shane O'Donoghue passed memorable milestones as Ireland began their Six Nations programme in Valencia ahead of their trip to the Rio Olympics.

Jackson became only the third Irish player to reach 200 caps, behind Ronan Gormley and Eugene Magee, while O'Donoghue joined the 100 club, but there wasn't to be a double celebration as the Green Machine were edged out 1-0 by Argentina.

However, this wasn't a bad result against the World No. 6, who are also Rio bound, and it's straight onto their second game tomorrow when they take on India who are in their pool in Rio.

The game was decided by Juan Giraldi's penalty stroke conversion after Gormley's foot stopped a penalty corner, but Mitch Darling, Jackson, O'Donoghue and Michael Watt all came close.

Ireland are also scheduled to face hosts Spain on Thursday, New Zealand on Saturday and Olympic champions Germany on Sunday before completing their Rio build-up with games against Netherlands in Cork.

Meanwhile, three senior internationals have been included in the Ulster Under-21 women's squad for three games against Scotland in Glasgow.

Ards striker Chloe Brown and her club-mate Kerri McDonald are joined by Randalstown utility player Zoe Wilson in newly-appointed coach Gareth Grundie's panel for the triple-header which kicks off tonight (7pm).

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