Garry Ringrose ready to step it up to the next level against Pumas

Chicago exploits soon consigned to history as Argentina challenge looms large

If the urban dictionary of Irish ‘rugbyisms’ were to be consulted, ‘Turn the Page’ might feature as the go-to phrase for instant closure, or moving on.

For all of the harem scarem eight tries and points scored, Italy in Soldier Field seems like a match that needed to be quickly left behind in the US. It required tight containment within a fitting slogan.

"Turn the page," says outside centre Garry Ringrose, moving on swiftly and turning his focus to the Argentina challenge. He knows things must change, will change.

“I think it probably has to come up a notch,” he adds.


Ireland’s day of reckoning will come over the next few weeks, with Argentina on Saturday evening – and then world champions New Zealand.

The windy city venture was undertaken for all the right marketing reasons. But as regards preparation for the next two games, the mountain of points Ireland clocked up against second-string Italy hardly amounts to a hill of beans.

Ringrose returns a little guarded. Content but pragmatic. The sense at Carton House is he would have preferred more than one try but also that the functions he performed at outside centre would have been seen by coach Joe Schmidt as intelligent and quietly impressive – if without the orchestral accompaniment that scored Chicago front man Jordan Larmour’s performance.

“In one element you don’t underestimate Italy, and beating them, you can’t be unhappy with that,” he says. “So it was a good win when you look at the scoreline.

“But then at the same time I think individually, I mean I could take away a couple of things that I could have done better. There is definitely scope for improvement there.

“I think collectively we got one or two things wrong, both sides of the ball. So there will be no fear of getting carried away or thinking that there isn’t any more room for growth because I think everyone knows that there is.”

His cold, critical eye also runs over the contributions of Garry Ringrose. It is nit picking. But that’s what they do.

“In terms of my own game, I don’t know . . ..I even got beaten once or twice on the inside shoulder,” he says. “That’d certainly be a big one for everyone, because that’s usually what happens for line-breaks for any opposition – being beaten on the inside shoulder. So, it’s not something you want to do. It’d probably get called up on a video session.

Impact tackles

“And probably I had opportunities to make more aggressive impact tackles that I didn’t take full advantage of. So that will be something for me, if I get the shot this week, that I’ll look to improve on.”

Defence coach Andy Farrell was in the US with the squad, while Simon Easterby stayed in Ireland. Schmidt straddled the continents fixing two sets of players for very different challenges.

Ringrose is not about to talk himself up. There are plenty to do that for him and, if Schmidt falls back on the players who have delivered in the past, the Leinster back will line out with Henshaw in the centre.

In Schmidt’s eyes the dancing feet of Larmour may also struggle to displace a fit Rob Kearney and while the loud claims of the rampaging two-try Tadhg Beirne are legitimate, it would need explaining if he were to replace Iain Henderson, Devin Toner or James Ryan.

A feature of the Schmidt regime, which Ringrose understands, is players are programmed not to hold assumptions about shirt ownership. They are a squad primed to live under a constant state of alert for pecking order and position.

Italy will lead some to Argentina and Argentina will lead to New Zealand and New Zealand, even this far out, could lead to Tokyo. Three weeks of increasing magnitude and pressure that will empower some players and possibly diminish others. But that’s rushing too far ahead. First Argentina.

“Individually they are very strong,” he says of the team that won two of their Rugby Championship matches, beating South Africa 32-19 and also winning against Australia in the Gold Coast Cbus Super Stadium 19-23.

“ Certainly across the back line they have guys that can beat you one-on-one any day of the week. That will be a huge challenge, the individual battles and defensively because they are so good in attack.

“Their shape is improving year on year. You can see that they are getting to the edge more effectively and they are pretty good at winning the gain line. If you don’t match them up front it can be a long day – as they have shown in games just gone.

Physical battle

“It can be a combination of matching them in the physical battle that we know they will bring as well as being prepared for the kind of attacking flow out wide that they have.”

The flow is right wing Bautista Delguy, who has made a major impact on the Southern Hemisphere championship by scoring three tries, including two in the home victory over South Africa. Along with fullback Emiliano Boffelli and left wing Ramiro Moyano they have formed a dynamic trio of strike runners. There is respect from Ireland more than fear.

The squad arrived back in two groups early on Monday, taking the morning off before going to work in the afternoon. Turbulence en route ensured a nervous flight and Ringrose concedes that travelling through six time zones from Illinois makes preparation this week “a challenge”. But he adds a caveat.

“It would be easy to start pulling out excuses,” he says. “So there’s no excuse for not feeling fresh this afternoon.”

He is turning another page. The urban dictionary has it listed under F. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to fail. They all know it.