Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Murray earns Ireland World Cup spot

Declan Kidney

Conor Murray has been included in Ireland's squad for the World Cup at the expense of Munster team-mate Tomas O'Leary.

Murray, who made his only Test appearance against France in Bordeaux nine days ago, travels with fellow scrum-halves Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss.

O'Leary was thought to be coach Declan Kidney's first choice in the position but has paid the price for his poor display in Saturday's 26-22 defeat by Les Bleus.

Leicester full-back Geordan Murphy travels to New Zealand, as does Leinster utility back Fergus McFadden, but there is no place among the 30 for winger Luke Fitzgerald.

Murphy's hopes of inclusion looked dashed after he started the second string's victory over Connacht last Thursday.

At 33, his Test career seemed over only for a foot injury to Felix Jones, sustained against France on Saturday, to narrow Kidney's options.

Most of the squad, which is led by Brian O'Driscoll, picked itself with a 16-14 split between forwards and backs.

Only four props will travel with Tony Buckley securing the last available place, beating off competition from John Hayes and Marcus Horan. Donnacha Ryan travels as the fourth lock but also offers back-row cover, while Stephen Ferris features after making his first appearance since January on Saturday.

Andrew Trimble's fine form during the summer is rewarded and his rival wing Tommy Bowe is present despite not having played this month because of a foot injury.

Ireland squad: R Best (Ulster), I Boss (Leinster), T Bowe (Ospreys), T Buckley (Sale), T Court (Ulster), S Cronin (Leinster), L Cullen (Leinster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), K Earls (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), J Flannery (Munster), C Healy (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster), R Kearney (Leinster), D Leamy (Munster), F McFadden (Leinster), G Murphy (Leicester), C Murray (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), R O'Gara (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), M Ross (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), J Sexton (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster), P Wallace (Ulster), D Wallace (Munster).