Ireland v Argentina
Quinlan out of Pumas clash
PA Sport
November 19, 2008
Alan Quinlan of Ireland kicks the ball away from Jimmy Cowan of New Zealand during the Guinness Series match between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland on November 15, 2008.
Quinlan vies for a loose ball with New Zealand's Jimmy cowan during last weekend's clash at Croke Park © Getty Images

Alan Quinlan's name will be missing when Ireland announce their team to face Argentina on Thursday morning.

The Munster flanker has been suspended for three weeks after a disciplinary hearing upheld a citing for stamping in Saturday's 22-3 defeat by New Zealand. Quinlan struck All Black number eight Rodney So'oialo in the first half, an incident spotted by referee Mark Lawrence who only issued a caution.

But the hearing held in Dublin last night deemed the offence was worthy of a red card. Quinlan, who has the right to appeal, would have featured in Ireland's back row against the Pumas at Croke Park on Saturday.

The 34-year-old's physicality was deemed essential against New Zealand, but he must now wait until the Six Nations begins in February for his next opportunity in a green jersey. Ulster's Stephen Ferris, a substitute at Croke Park last Saturday, is likely to take his place in the number six jersey.

Ferris was unfortunate to be relegated to the bench after starring in Ireland's autumn opener against Canada, a match won 55-0. Leinster veteran Malcolm O'Kelly, Ireland's most capped player, is in line to plug the gap among the substitutes but could yet force his way into the starting line-up.

Paul O'Connell is struggling with a dead leg and if he fails his fitness battle, O'Kelly will be the replacement with Bob Casey drafted onto the bench. Kidney is also waiting for news on hooker Rory Best, another dead leg victim from the All Blacks drubbing, with Jerry Flannery on standby if the Ulster front row succumbs to the injury.

Ireland must beat Argentina to remain in the top eight of the world rankings, ensuring their inclusion among the seeds for the World Cup draw on December 1.

"We have a huge game on Saturday when we'll try to stay in the top eight," said Kidney. "It's in our hands because we can beat a team ranked above us. We haven't done that in a while. Argentina just have that ability to soak up a lot of pressure and they play with a great work ethic."


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