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Rugby World Cup: Mike Ross desperate not to bring down curtain on Test career

By Jonathan Bradley

Mike Ross is refusing to call time on his international career despite Ireland's World Cup exit.

The 43-20 loss ended hopes of a first-ever spot in the tournament's last four for Joe Schmidt's men and the Leinster prop, who will turn 36 before the turn of the year, is one who clearly won't be around for another four-year cycle.

With his contract at the RDS up this summer, Ross doesn't want to bow out on the sour note of another quarter-final defeat

"I certainly hope so," he replied when asked if he saw himself in the mix for Six Nations selection. It's up to Joe really.

"For myself, I've just got to get back to Leinster, fight it out with Marty Moore and Tadhg Furlong and see who makes it there."

The Cork native, who only made his Test debut in 2009, was part of the team that suffered similar heartbreak against Wales four years ago but hopes that this time Ireland can learn from the setback. "I remember back in 2011 feeling fairly similar but we had a full squad to choose from," he said.

"We've a lot of talent coming through, there are a lot of boys who will hopefully learn from this and push on in in 2019."

With Ireland missing five key men through injury and suspension, Argentina raced into an early lead at the Millennium Stadium and, although the deficit was reduced to just three in the second-half, Ross was disappointed that the men in green had left themselves with so much to do.

"We know we let ourselves down in the first half. We can't give them that sort of lead and expect to recover easily from it.

"When you start the game by giving them a 17-point lead, you are always playing catch-up and we were forced into doing things we probably wouldn't have done if we weren't 17 points down.

"I think in order to do well at a World Cup you need an awful lot of things in your favour.

"You need a bit of luck too and unfortunately we seemed to run out of it in the last game against France.

"I think we used it all up. You can't give a side like Argentina the head-start that we did."

Belfast Telegraph


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