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# back row candidate
Spanish speaker Murphy keen to fill in for Ireland's injured O'Mahony
With two spots available in Ireland’s back row, the Leinster man is hoping for the nod from Joe Schmidt.

Murray Kinsella reports from Cardiff

THE ARGENTINIAN MEDIA were hovering in wait and Jordi Murphy didn’t disappoint.

An interview in Spanish, although you probably know by now where the Leinster back row was born and lived in his younger years. Murphy says he’s “pretty fluent” still, meaning the journalists left content.

Jordi Murphy after the game Murphy played against the Romanians in the pool stages.

The 24-year-old has more important things on his mind this week than trying to remember his Barcelona days, with the injury to Peter O’Mahony and suspension of Sean O’Brien opening two holes in the Ireland back row ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Pumas.

Chris Henry is perhaps favourite to wear the seven shirt, but having played at six against Romania in the pool stages, Murphy will feel he has a strong chance of pushing into the starting XV.

Murphy has found himself watching on from the sidelines in the last fortnight as his mates have taken on Italy and France, the mobile back row having been omitted from both matchday squads.

It has been tough,” says Murphy. “It’s disappointing when they name the team and you’re not in it. But I was always saying that my main role was to get to the World Cup and from there, it was to play well.

“It’s just one of those things you have to take on the chin. They’ve gone with other selections and you’ve got to put your disappointment and frustration aside and just work on for the collective.”

Murphy says he’s never been one to react to disappointment by “going around in a huff” for the week, instead adding as much value as he can by pushing the starting team in training, attempting to match what the Italians and French were likely to bring.

“I have got to support the boys straight away and do everything I can to make them be the best team they can be on the weekend and train as hard as possible,” says Murphy. “The attacks or the defences they would be facing which is what I have had to do in the last few weeks.”

Jordi Murphy Dan Sheridan / INPHO Murphy arrives at Ireland training in Sophia Gardens yesterday. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

It’s not easy being in the background at a World Cup, even as a younger member of the group, and Murphy is obviously desperate to get the nod this weekend against the Argentinians, even if only off the bench.

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One of the outstanding qualities O’Mahony has offered Ireland in the back row is a commanding lineout presence, both in attack and defence. Murphy has been strong in that area in recent times, and feels ready to fill the gap if called upon to do so.

“I’ve worked very hard on my lineout in the last few months,” says Murphy. “I think it’s one of the things that I would have tried to emulate from Peter when I was running at six and playing there earlier on in games and in pre-season games.

It’s definitely one of the things that he brings to the squad, that explosivity in the air, his quick read time. I suppose I’ve been trying to learn from him in the last while and if I get a go, hopefully I’ll be able to do it justice.”

Murphy played twice on Ireland’s tour to Argentina last summer, winning his third and fourth caps as Joe Schmidt’s men recorded a pair of wins. That was a very different Pumas side, without their European stars, but they still fronted up.

By adding in those non-domestic players for the Rugby Championship and this World Cup, head coach Daniel Hourcade has created a potent force.

“They’re a very abrasive and dangerous team,” says Murphy. “I just remember being very sore bodies after the two games. I’ll be expecting no different this weekend if I get a go.”

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