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Rugby World Cup: Joe Schmidt can call on me to ease injury blows, says Jordi Murphy

By Cian Tracey

Published 15/10/2015

Leg to stand on: Jordi Murphy limbers up to help Ireland fill the void left by the injured Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony
Leg to stand on: Jordi Murphy limbers up to help Ireland fill the void left by the injured Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony

It has been a testing couple of months in Jordi Murphy's four-year professional career.

By his own admission he was given a lesson at the breakdown by Justin Tipuric in Ireland's penultimate warm-up game against Wales, while he didn't do enough against Romania to force himself into the reckoning for Ireland's final two pool games.

Injuries to Paul O'Connell and Peter O'Mahony have meant that the door has reopened for the 24-year-old.

The problem for Murphy has been that Chris Henry has impressed at every given opportunity and Joe Schmidt has preferred the Ulsterman throughout the tournament.

And the arrival of Rhys Ruddock into the squad, another favourite of Schmidt, has added to the competition for places.

"Yeah, it has been tough," Murphy conceded. "It's disappointing when they name the team and you're not in it. But I was always saying that my main role was to get to the World Cup and from there, it was to play as well.

"It's just one of those things. They've gone with other selections and you've got to put your disappointment and frustration aside and work for the collective.

"I'm not one to be told that I am not involved and then go around with a huff on me. I have got to support the boys straight away and do everything I can to make them be the best team they can be on the weekend."

Murphy is set to be included in the match-day 23 for Sunday's quarter-final against Argentina but whether or not he has done enough to force his way into the starting XV remains to be seen.

"I thought it was okay. It was a stepping stone I suppose," he said of his performance against Romania three weeks ago.

"I didn't feel like I played out of my skin but I felt like I played alright. I suppose you can always play better but I don't know, I thought I had gone alright.

"But the coaches went with a different team the week after and I had to take that and support the lads."

Murphy admits that the last few weeks have been a test of his character. O'Mahony's absence means Ireland have lost one of their main lineout options but the set-piece is an area that Murphy has been working tirelessly on and he feels as if he can fill the void.

"I'd like to think so. I've worked very hard on my lineout in the last few months. I think it's one of the things that I would have tried to emulate from Peter," he said. "It's one of the things that he brings to the squad, that explosiveness in the air, his quick read time on everything like that.

"I suppose I've been trying to learn from him over the last while and if I get a go, hopefully I'll be able to do it justice."

Murphy was in the Ireland squad that twice beat Argentina on their summer tour last year.

The Pumas, however, were missing their European-based players and the former Blackrock College student is only too aware that they pose an altogether different threat at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.

The fact that Murphy speaks fluent Spanish may well be useful and although he was reluctant to pipe up last summer, this time it will be different.

"It's kind of one of those things, everything's happening so fast, I suppose if I hear a trigger call it might be at the front of the lineout or something, I might have a word," he said.

"I think, back then, I was a bit shy, it was my third or fourth cap, so I was afraid to pipe up a bit. If it happens again, I might have a word.

"I remember very sore bodies after the two games. I'll be expecting no different this weekend if I get a go. They're a top-quality side, they've shown that before."

Belfast Telegraph

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