Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Six Nations 2010: Murphy experience the key

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has pointed to Geordan Murphy's knowledge of English rugby as the key to the veteran Leicester full-back's recall for Saturday's trip to Twickenham.

Murphy will make his first international appearance since the final match of last year's championship, when Ireland completed the Grand Slam against Wales.

Restricted to just three Guinness Premiership outings for the Tigers since dislocating his shoulder last September, Murphy was nevertheless outstanding in the weekend's 33-11 rout of Gloucester.

The 31-year-old replaces the injured Rob Kearney at full-back against England.

"Geordan's experience will compensate for his lack of rugby. Twickenham is not a ground he's unfamiliar with," said Kidney.

"He'll be playing against guys who he knows. That was part of the mix in giving him the nod for this one."

Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton is preferred ahead of Munster veteran Ronan O'Gara, who drops to the bench following the 33-10 defeat by France, with Tomas O'Leary continuing at scrum-half.

But Kidney played down the significance of Sexton's selection, adding: "We're blessed with two out-halves, one with huge experience, the other up and coming.

"I thought it was opportune to give Jon a go this time."

Ireland V Wales Hospitality

Six Nations Hospitality

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