Rory Best says Ireland 'in stronger place' for Pumas challenge than in 2015

Rory Best in action against Argentina in the 2015 World Cup
Rory Best is among five of Saturday's Ireland starters who played in the World Cup quarter-final defeat by Argentina
Autumn internationals: Ireland v Argentina
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 25 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Ulster and online, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Rory Best says Ireland are "in a stronger place" for Saturday's game against Argentina than when the Pumas dashed their World Cup hopes in 2015.

Johnny Sexton, Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony are all involved this weekend after being among the Ireland stars who missed the 43-20 World Cup defeat.

In all, only five of Saturday's starters played in the 2015 game when the Irish were severely under-strength.

"We hope that we've improved our depth," said Ireland skipper Best, 35.

O'Connell missed World Cup quarter-final

Ireland also went into the 2015 World Cup quarter-final without then skipper Paul O'Connell with Sexton and O'Mahony ruled out by injury and O'Brien suspended for the quarter-final.

"We hope we never get into that situation again," Best said at his eve-of-match news conference.

"When you look at the two Six Nations titles that we won going into the 2015 World Cup, we got lucky with injuries. Luck plays a big part in that.

"We didn't have to dig so deep into the squad as we did at the Rugby World Cup."

Best, who captained the British and Irish Lions midweek team on this summer's tour of New Zealand, said due to injuries and then players being unavailable for selection head coach Joe Schmidt had had to blood new faces.

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Schmidt believes Adam Byrne deserves Test chance

Schmidt hands debut to wing Byrne

Schmidt has picked uncapped Leinster wing Adam Byrne for the Pumas contest while Robbie Henshaw's hamstring injury means that Munster's Chris Farrell again starts after making his debut in the narrow win over Fiji last weekend.

"It's been about giving people an opportunity," added Best, who will become Ireland's fourth-most capped player as he makes his 106th appearance.

"I feel the squad's in a stronger place now, and that's mainly because people have had opportunities."

Leinster lock James Ryan will make his first start as he earns his fourth cap and Best says the 21-year-old second row is reflective of the new talent coming through.

"He just has a presence and hopefully we'll see that tomorrow (Saturday)," said Best.

"We've seen bits of it and the fact he captained the Ireland Under-20s shows he's a big character and it's important we get that out of him.

Best's counterpart and fellow hooker Agustin Creevy is hoping the Pumas can earn a first win in Dublin after seven previous defeats.

"We feel we can make history but we know Ireland are in one of their best moments ever. Probably it will be a more than interesting game for us," added former Worcester player Creevy,

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