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Rugby World Cup: Luke Fitzgerald gives Irish another string to their bow, says Conor Murray

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Luke Fitzgerald

Luke Fitzgerald

?INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ahead of the pack: Paul O'Connell leads his team mates in training before Ireland's World Cup
opener against Canada

Ahead of the pack: Paul O'Connell leads his team mates in training before Ireland's World Cup opener against Canada

?INPHO/Dan Sheridan

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Luke Fitzgerald

Makeshift inside centre Luke Fitzgerald can add a new dimension to Ireland's backline in tomorrow's World Cup opener against Canada, according to Conor Murray.

Leinster's utility back Fitzgerald has replaced hamstring injury victim Robbie Henshaw in Ireland's starting line-up for the Pool D clash in Cardiff.

Fitzgerald missed the final cut for the 2007 and 2011 tournaments, but scrum-half Murray has backed the 28-year-old to hand Ireland a playmaking edge on his World Cup debut.

"Luke can definitely add something different to our backline," said Murray.

"He'll bring his own style of game to the table as well.

"He can slot into our formation seamlessly, so he's a flair player, a very exciting player and I'm looking forward to playing with him.

"He's played an awful lot with Johnny (Sexton), and Lukey is a playmaker as well, so that will be another string to our bow," Murray added.

Connacht battering ram Henshaw pulled up with hamstring trouble on Tuesday in the closing stages of Ireland's final training session before heading to Cardiff for the start of the World Cup campaign.

The Athlone native has been one of coach Joe Schmidt's most trusted lieutenants in Ireland's consecutive RBS 6 Nations title campaigns.

Lions half-back Murray admitted a sense of relief at easing through concussion testing to start the World Cup after a bang to the head in Ireland's 21-13 defeat to England at Twickenham.

Murray confirmed himself fit and ready for action following the scare.

"I feel great, I've trained full all this week. I'm fine now and ready to go," he said.

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