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Schmidt backs Murphy to hit the ground running in rush job

Jordi Murphy
Jordi Murphy
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has "every confidence" that Ulster's Jordi Murphy will deliver against Russia at the World Cup tomorrow.

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The 28-year-old arrived in Japan only on Sunday having been rushed into the squad after Jack Conan's injury but has gone straight into the side for the clash in Kobe (11.15am) despite only one training session with the side since touching down.

Murphy was part of the build up to the tournament with the squad in Carton House, even staying with the team for a few extra sessions in the final week before departure after finding out he had not made the final 31-man selection for the tournament.

He joined up with the squad in Kobe on Monday and in training Schmidt saw a player ready to make his mark.

"He trained unbelievably well," said the coach.

"Pretty much straight off the flight, he got in last Sunday so he's at least here a couple of nights. He was feeling good and one of the things I suppose is that it's a 7.15pm game in Japan, which is around about midday in Ireland so he doesn't have to re-calibrate himself too much to get out and play a game hopefully.

"We'll give him the weekend off after that. We're just asking for him to do the best he can for us and the thing with Jordi is that you seldom get anything less than that. I think he's a good performer for us and we've every confidence that he'll just slot straight in."

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Murphy's sole Ulster team-mate in the matchday 23 for the game at the Kobe Misaki Stadium will be Iain Henderson who is set for his 51st cap and a third appearance of this tournament off the bench as a replacement.

Schmidt, who revealed World Rugby admitted that referee Angus Gardner made a number of key errors in awarding decisions against his team last Saturday, also insisted his players have what it takes to come through tomorrow's match and the clash with Samoa on Saturday week while building towards a crescendo against New Zealand or South Africa.

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