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Murphy insists Keatley can step up to plate for Scots clash

John Fallon

Published 14/02/2013 | 04:00

Ian Keatley
Ian Keatley

MUNSTER's Johne Murphy believes that Ian Keatley is perfectly poised to feature as back-up to Ronan O'Gara against Scotland if Jonny Sexton is ruled out.

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Keatley kicked 20 points in Munster's 30-3 win over Edinburgh at the weekend and has the highest accuracy rate for kickers in the Pro12 this season.

The 25-year-old, who kicked 17 points in his two Irish senior appearances against Canada and the United States in 2009, was on the bench behind Paddy Jackson in the recent Ireland Wolfhounds game against England Saxons.

The Kildare native has also been in superb form for Munster this season.

"We kicked the corners against Edinburgh. 'Keats' really drove the game, probably one of his best games ever in that regard," said Murphy of his team-mate.

"He made right decisions, when to kick and when to run and the times we ran out of our red zone was when it was on and we made good ground.

"I think he is up there, he is a very talented fella. He has already played for Ireland a couple of times, he is very experienced.

"I suppose he showed in the (Racing) Metro (game), and especially at the weekend, how he can run games like that.

"Rog is Rog, you can't say enough about him. He is probably going to play with us this weekend to get some game time, but if Jonny is out of the Scots match then there is certainly a race for a spot."

Irish Independent

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