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Jordi Murphy on standby with Jack Conan's World Cup in doubt

The Leinster number eight is struggling with a foot injury.

JORDI MURPHY WAS withdrawn from Ulster’s team to face the Ospreys in the Pro14 last night as he was put on standby to potentially join Ireland’s World Cup squad in Japan.

The request from Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt for Murphy to be pulled from Ulster’s season opener underlines that number eight Jack Conan’s World Cup is in doubt.

The Leinster man had been due to start today’s Pool A clash with hosts Japan in Shizuoka but sustained a foot injury during training this week.

jack-conan Conan watches on in a moon boot as Ireland warm-up for the Japan game. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Instead, Conan was watching from the sidelines in a moon boot as Ireland warmed-up for their second World Cup clash.

As yet, it’s unclear if it is the same foot issue the back row had struggled with during pre-season, although Ireland boss Schmidt said that Conan had been injured when a team-mate stood on him in training.

While Schmidt had initially seemed upbeat about Conan and the player himself appeared in good spirits as he watched Ireland’s captain’s run yesterday at Ecopa Stadium from the sidelines, the update after that training session was less positive.

“At that this stage, it’s just a wait and see,” said Ireland assistant coach Greg Feek yesterday. “We’re going to get some opinions on that over the next couple of days and then go from there.

“It’s a little bit of a setback at this stage but I think once we get the game out of the way and we get the reports in from medical and the S&C, we’ll probably have some more information on that. Probably after the game, I’d say.”

As such, Ireland are due to issue an official update on Conan later today, amidst fears that his tournament could be over having played just once off the bench against Scotland last weekend.

28-year-old Murphy was very unlucky to miss out on making Ireland’s final 31-man squad to travel to Japan, with Schmidt having indicated that the versatile Ulster player would be in “pole position” should there be any back row injuries in Japan.

Conan’s fans will be hoping for a positive update later today, although Murphy is standing by in the event that he needs to board the next flight to Japan.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from Hamamatsu

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