'They'd be brilliant': Will Addison and Jordi Murphy kept in Ireland training as Joe Schmidt wants Ireland back-up ready
Will Addison, Jordi Murphy and Kieron Marmion have all agreed to stay on in Ireland training despite missing out on the 31-man World Cup panel.
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Head coach Joe Schmidt have talked up the reaction of the trio to the dreaded weekend phone-call.
Addison's omission, with Munster centre Chris Farrel preferred, caught many by surprise when the squad was announced on Monday. Murphy and Marmion, who lost the places to Rhys Ruddock and Luke McGrath respectively, were also in the discussion of the players most unlucky when the final cuts were made.
But, with a final warm-up game at home to Wales to come on Saturday and a tournament that could require seven games in 42 days, that doesn't mean the door to Japan is closed for good.
In fact, the chances are at least one of those to miss out will be required to cover injury at some stage.
It's in that light that Schmidt was so keen to keep the unlucky trio in camp, and (at least in part) why they were so happy to oblige.
"Unbelievably," Schmidt told RTE of their reaction to the news, while not making it clear if they would be released for their province's opening PRO14 fixture before Ireland's World Cup opener against Scotland.
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"I spoke to them on the phone, I said 'look, this is not the phone call you want to get, you have fallen outside the squad and there's some narrow margins'. We discussed a few game-related things with them."
Schmidt, certainly, would have no worries about calling up any of the trio should the situation arise.
"Those three guys as young men would be brilliant in the squad, they would contribute without a doubt, but we can only have 31," he continued.
"It's very easy for some people on the sidelines to throw barbs on who missed out but you can only find 31 spots. These three guys have been unbelievably good.
"'Would you come in train Monday, Tuesday, potentially later in week?'
"'Be there, no problem'.
"It gives us confidence as well that if we lose someone on Saturday, or we could definitely lose someone in the tournament, to have them training and up to speed would be profitable for us."
Belfast Telegraph Digital