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Jordi Murphy to stay at World Cup as Ireland star hoping to return to contention for Samoa clash

Jordi Murphy is in good spirits after his rib injury was not as serious as first feared.
Jordi Murphy is in good spirits after his rib injury was not as serious as first feared.

Jordi Murphy will be staying put at the Rugby World Cup despite the rib injury that threatened to end his tournament.

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The Ulster back row, who had flown out to Japan only days before as a replacement for Jack Conan, picked up the problem during his side's 35-0 success over Russia on Thursday.

The Irish camp had been awaiting further assessment before confirming the extent of the problem but Murphy played a bit-part role in training on Monday. He is hoping to return to full action on Thursday, in time to come into contention for this weekend's final pool game against Samoa.

With Joe Schmidt normally favouring players who train on Tuesday, whether or not Murphy actually takes to the field remains to be seen.

However, the news of his continued participation at the tournament will be music to the coach's ears. Schmidt had been facing the prospect of calling up either Munster's Tommy O'Donnell or second row Devin Toner, with Tadhg Beirne in that case providing the back row cover.

Murphy had been injured less than half an hour in to his first game at the World Cup but says he never feared it had brought his tournament to a (very) premature end.

"The damage isn't too bad so I'm hopeful I'll get another opportunity at some stage in this tournament to help out the boys," said Murphy on Monday. "I didn't think (my World Cup) was over. I was just incredibly disappointed to pick up something like that. I tried to play on with it but I knew I wasn't adding anything to the team.

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"I didn't really know what the diagnosis was going to be but it's been positive so far. I'm building into this week and hoping to train fully on Thursday.

"(The rib) just popped. I got caught between two people. One of them was Jean Kleyn and the other was one of the Russian second rows so that's never going to end well for me. I just felt the pop go. There was a good bit of pain. It popped back in after a few minutes and I thought 'happy days' but then it went again.

"Ribs are kind of annoying but you can play on with them. I have to try and build into the rest of the week. I've been assured by doctors that nothing's too out of place so hopefully I should be alright."

Joe Carbery, meanwhile, took part in Monday training after being a late withdrawal from the squad that faced Russia.

"He's flying, he's in a great place," added Farrell."He’s in the best place I’ve certainly seen him over the last few weeks. He was running around the training ground today with a proper spring in his step. He's in great spirits and he's ready to go."

Chris Farrell is expected to come through his return-to-play protocols and train fully tomorrow, while Robbie Henshaw (hamstring) is also due to be available for selection.

Ireland need a bonus point win over Samoa this weekend to rubber-stamp their spot in the last eight thanks to their shocking defeat to Japan in game two.

"We have definitely had disappointment before," Murphy continued.

"But the thing about this team is they are always able to bounce back and they certainly did that midweek. Obviously there are a lot of parts of the game that we can definitely do better on."

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