Ayerza prepared for big battle up front

Date published: October 16 2015

Argentina's Marcos Ayerza is preparing himself for a massive battle in the scrum when he runs on against Ireland on Sunday.

The loosehead prop believes that while the Irish scrum in totality has improved under coach Joe Schmidt, the front row is yet to undergo a thorough examination at the World Cup.

"The Irish scrum has been efficient over the last year," the 32-year-old told The42.ie

"They didn't really want to dominate. You have to have the tightest platform, an aggressive pack to play. I like to test myself at every scrum and to dominate the scrum if possible.

"Ireland have been very clinical, very good, tidy. Of course they haven't been dominated but they haven’t dominated many teams. We're planning to really take it to them. It’s an area we have respect for. They have an experienced front row and forward pack."

As of writing, Ireland are yet to name their team, but Ayerza is sure Schmidt will select his most experienced trio to leaf from the front.

"I'm not sure who will play but maybe Cian Healy and Mike Ross and, of course, Rory Best," added the Leicester Tiger prop.

"They are very experienced and have played together for many, many games and they know each other and they will be capable of having a solid scrum. Having said that we want to have a battle up front."

Ayerza added that another key area in the quarter-final clash will be the breakdown, but Argentina are prepared.

"I think the breakdown battle will decide who will get ahead to those semi-finals," he said. 

"And getting ready for that battle we have been training a long days and tidying in that area of the game.

"So of course our forward game, our defence, our attacking rugby at times have to be spot on, have to be at our best to be able to match the Irish. Parity at the breakdown will be the deciding factor of the game."

Argentina face Six Nations champions Ireland in the third quarter-final at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.