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Heaslip expects Contepomi passion


Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip expects former Leinster team-mate Felipe Contepomi to keep his Latin temperament in check when Ireland host Argentina at Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Contepomi, who swapped Dublin for French club Toulon last year, is captain of the Pumas squad for their autumn tour of Europe. The 33-year-old, who will line up at fly-half at Lansdowne Road in the absence of Juan Martin Hernandez, can be volatile but remains an intelligent playmaker.

Heaslip expects him to thrive amid the responsibility of leading Argentina and he said: "My experience of Felipe is that he's an unbelievably passionate man in whatever team he plays for. He's a very proud man."

Heaslip continued: "He's captain and that's going to be a massive honour for him. He will lead by example with regards to playing with passion and pride.

"He's got that bit of Latin blood, that bit of heat in him, but there's not a bad bone in him, that's for sure.

"You never know what to expect with Felipe. I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on him because in my experience even when he's tackled he's not out of the game.

"He can throw an unbelievable offload or wriggle himself out of tackles the whole time. I'm really looking forward to it as I've only ever played against him once."

Ireland are positioned one place above Argentina, who lost 15-9 to France last Saturday, in the world rankings in seventh. It will be the 12th time the rivals have met - the record will read six victories each if the Pumas prevail on Sunday - in a feisty fixture that has witnessed plenty of bad blood.

Heaslip admits the tourists are very difficult opposition to break down and he added: "Argentina are big boys and they close down a lot of your space, so the ability to go side to side or throw it about isn't there as much as you'd want it to be.

"You've got to go through them to earn the right to go around them. Against any team you've got to do that and none more so than Argentina."