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16th Oct 2015

Munster fans won’t like to hear about the 16-year-old record being equalled against Argentina

Strange sight

Ben Kiely

There is something a bit unusual about the Irish starting XV to play Argentina.

We’ve become so accustomed to seeing Munster forwards starting for the Irish team that you would be forgiven for thinking the team to face Argentina on Sunday is a bit odd.

With injury ruling out talismanic Munster men such as Paul O’Connell (sniff, sniff, that wound is still fresh) and Peter O’Mahony, we’re left with an Ireland team without a single forward who plays for the province.

Obviously, Mike Ross was born in Cork, but since he plays his club rugby for Leinster, Sunday’s game will mark only the second time Ireland have started without any Munster forwards in the World Cup.

The only other time this happened was in the pool game against Romania at the 1999 tournament. Keith Wood, who was a Munster player at the time, was omitted from the starting XV, leaving no Munster forwards starting on the day. However, he did feature in the 28-24 quarter-final loss to Argentina in the competition.

The starting forwards for that game were Justin FitzPatrick, Ross Nesdale, Paul Wallace, Paddy Johns, Malcolm O’Kelly, Andy Ward, Kieron Dawson and Dion O’Cuinneagain.

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