Rugby World Cup 2015: Ireland must cope without captain - Best

Ireland captain Rory Best
Ireland hooker Rory Best will join Mike Ross and Cian Healy in the front row
World Cup quarter-final: Ireland v Argentina
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: Sunday 18 October Kick-off: 13:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Ulster, plus live text commentary on BBC website

Rory Best has warned that Ireland must cope without injured skipper Paul O'Connell in Sunday's World Cup last eight game with Argentina in Cardiff.

O'Connell will miss the rest of the tournament after having surgery on a hamstring injury sustained in the 24-9 win over France last weekend.

Best said: "While Paul will be a loss, everyone has to step up. It's important guys stand up and lead by example.

"They're not going to have their hand held by Paulie's leadership this week."

Along with Jamie Heaslip, who will captain the Irish against Argentina, Best will be one of those expected to lead from the front against a formidable Argentine pack.

Ireland will cover 'every angle'

The Ulster hooker said that Ireland - seeking to reach their first World Cup semi-final - would cover every angle for the game against the Pumas in Cardiff, with Jerome Garces in charge - the same referee as against Italy two weeks ago.

"This is knock-out rugby and the chance to make history," said Best.

"Against Italy there were a lot of things we could have done better - we probably weren't as prepared for that scrum.

"From our point of view, probably what we've learned in hindsight is that we need to prepare for every eventuality.

"We didn't then and for us it's about making sure that we do everything we can.

"The referees are doing a good job; our responsibility is to make sure we take it out of their hands by preparing properly, and making sure we execute the plan as accurately as we can."

Scrum strategies

Argentina's unorthodox "Bajada" scrummaging method has caught several sides cold during the World Cup, the locks unusually binding on the props' hips in a bid to pin all the pressure through the opposing hooker.

Ireland's number two knows full well the Pumas will try to pin him in at the set-piece, but insisted Joe Schmidt's side have been hard at work devising strategies this week with scrum coach Greg Feek.

"We've got to make sure we have the tools to try to combat that," Best said.

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Cian Healy is relishing the Argentina quarter-final.

"Traditionally everyone talks about Argentina and the scrum and it's probably only in the last couple of years they've got that back again.

"It's a big weapon for them. We know they're going to come after us because that's what they do no matter who they are playing.

"We need to be able to make sure that doesn't become a factor that makes us lose the game.

"Myself, Mike Ross and Cian Healy, last weekend was our 30th cap starting together, so we're used to each other.

"And for us it's about making sure our technique is good and correct and that we trust what's worked for us for a large part of those 30 Tests."

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