Friday 23 June 2017

Murphy still in reckoning for Ireland despite omission from Kidney's squad

Hugh Farrelly

GEORDAN MURPHY could still have a role to play in Ireland's November series despite being omitted from Declan Kidney's 34-man squad yesterday.

Club commitments with English Premiership side Leicester mean the in-form full-back is not available for Ireland's November 6 clash with South Africa, but the Kildare man is expected to come back into the reckoning for the remaining Tests against Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina.

The issue of non-England internationals not being released by English Premiership clubs infuriated Wales coach Warren Gatland this week, who slammed governing body Premier Rugby's refusal to release non-England international players ahead of the mandatory 35-day period before the start of 2011 World Cup.

Gatland did not include any player who earns his living outside Wales in his 33-man squad for the November internationals.

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Murphy was the high-profile omission from yesterday's squad, with Connacht full-back Gavin Duffy and Munster pair Johne Murphy and Keith Earls present to provide full-back cover behind Rob Kearney.

Leinster's Leo Cullen and Luke Fitzgerald are liable to be brought back in time for the Springboks Test if they recover fully from shoulder and hip injuries respectively, while Tomas O'Leary is ruled out with a thumb injury but could still feature in the latter stages of the series.

Munster hooker Jerry Flannery also misses out pending updates on the calf injury that has limited his Munster appearances to 20 minutes off the bench in last weekend's victory over Toulon.

Leinster open-side Shane Jennings has been overlooked, with David Wallace and Sean O'Brien contesting the No 7 jersey, while veteran Shane Horgan is included ahead of free-scoring Connacht winger Fionn Carr.

Irish Independent

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