Murphy's experience makes him the man
Declan Kidney admits Geordan Murphy's knowledge of English rugby was instrumental in his recall for Ireland's RBS 6 Nations trip to Twickenham on Saturday.
Murphy will make his first international appearance since the final match of last year's championship when Ireland completed the Grand Slam against Wales. Restricted to just three Guinness Premiership outings for Leicester since dislocating his shoulder last September, he was in superb form in the weekend's 33-11 rout of Gloucester.
The 31-year-old replaces knee-injury victim Rob Kearney at full-back with Kidney backing him to blow away any lingering cobwebs. "Geordan's experience will compensate for his lack of rugby. Twickenham is not a ground he's unfamiliar with," said Kidney. "He'll be playing against guys who he knows. That was part of the mix in giving him the nod for this one."
Jonathan Sexton is preferred ahead of Ronan O'Gara, who drops to the bench following the 33-10 defeat by France with Tomas O'Leary continuing at scrum-half.
Kidney played down the selection, even though it further loosens O'Gara's grip on the number 10 jersey.
"We're blessed with two out-halves, one with huge experience, the other up and coming," said Kidney. "I thought it was opportune to give Jon a go this time."
An enforced change sees Rory Best given the hooking duties with Jerry Flannery suspended for his dangerous lunge on Les Bleus winger Alexis Palisson.
Sean Cronin takes Best's place on a bench that also sees the return of Shane Jennings after the Leinster flanker finished a 12-week ban for eye-gouging.
The fourth and final adjustment to the side thumped by France sees Donncha O'Callaghan displace Leo Cullen, who is included among the substitutes. O'Callaghan will be making his first appearance of the 2010 Six Nations after being sidelined for a month with a knee injury.
John Hayes will become the first player to win 100 caps for Ireland when he lines up at tighthead prop.