JAMIE HEASLIP INSISTS the significance of this weekend’s November International against Argentina at Lansdowne Rd will not affect Ireland’s players.
Ireland need to beat their old rivals at the Aviva Stadium to guarantee a spot in the top eight of the world rankings, ahead of the World Cup 2015 draw.
“In the great scheme of things it’s a very important game,” Heaslip told reporters after the starting XV was announced by head coach Declan Kidney at Carton house today.
“For us, it’s just like any other game really. We’ve all played big games — finals, Heineken Cups, internationals — so we just have to treat it like we treat every game. I sound like a broken record but just control the controllable and focus on the training and hopefully at the end of the week we’ll play what we’ve trained.”
Ireland-Argentina games hardly need any more spice, given their rivalry in the professional era, and the Leinster forward is expecting a tough test as usual from a Pumas side now competing in the Rugby Championship against the three southern hemisphere giants.
“I suppose the main thing with them is the amount of games they have in a year now. They’re going to be a lot more organised, they’ve always been a quality side. I’ve played in teams that have beaten them, I’ve played in teams that have lost.”
Last week’s hat-trick hero against Fiji, Craig Gilroy, will earn his first cap it was revealed by Kidney, the only change from the XV which started the narrow defeat to South Africa a fortnight ago.
“Your first cap is always a special moment,” said Heaslip. “I’m sure Craig will take it with both hands, he got the opportunity last week and it’s a great privilege for him and for all of us to wear the green jersey. And especially in such a big game, which it’s turned out to be.”