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Kidney worry after Leicester star Murphy suffers injury

GEORDAN MURPHY is an injury concern for Ireland ahead of the Six Nations after being stretchered off in Leicester's win over Northampton on Saturday, writes Hugh Farrelly.

However, Tigers coach Richard Cockerill is hopeful that his full-back and captain will be able to feature in the Heineken Cup clashes against the Scarlets and Treviso over the next two weeks.

"Geordan went over on his ankle," said Cockerill. "We are hoping for the best but it's too early to say the extent of his injury."

Murphy played his part in a confident 27-16 victory over the Saints which stretched Leicester's lead at the head of the English Premiership and, with Leinster No 15 Rob Kearney on the long-term injured list, is a key figure for Ireland coach Declan Kidney.

Fellow Irish internationals David Wallace and John Hayes were forced off during Munster's 22-20 Magners League win over Glasgow, but coach Tony McGahan is optimistic about the injury situation ahead of next weekend's crucial Heineken Cup assignment in Toulon.

"David is fine. John got a knee in the back, so we'll see how he goes but they are the only two at this stage," said McGahan.

"Sam (Tuitupou) and Tony (Buckley) both had illness during the week, so they weren't good enough to get through any game time. Doug (Howlett) had a calf strain from last week, so he was more precautionary than anything."

Munster's win was their 11th victory from 12 Magners League outings and McGahan's men have a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

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