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O'Gara and Murray tipped to start Italy clash

The Munster pair look set to be preferred to Jonny Sexton and Eoin Reddan, while Paul O’Connell is Ireland’s only major fitness doubt.

O'Gara was voted man of the match for Ireland's last World Cup game against Russia.
O'Gara was voted man of the match for Ireland's last World Cup game against Russia.

RONAN O’GARA AND Conor Murray are likely to be given the nod for Ireland’s game against Italy on Sunday, according to reports.

There has been widespread debate over who should be Ireland’s starting out-half, with 61% of rugby fans saying O’Gara should start ahead of Jonny Sexton in a recent TheScore.ie poll.

Murray will also be seen as somewhat of a surprise selection, given that Declan Kidney opted to start Eoin Reddan for Ireland’s crucial encounter with Australia.

Meanwhile, Paul O’Connell is the only major fitness concern after picking up a hamstring injury in the Australia match, with Leo Cullen set to start should O’Connell fail to regain his fitness in time for the game.

Their opponents, Italy, have never reached the World Cup quarter finals and last beat Ireland in December 1997.

Read: Fergus McFadden’s World Cup diary: part three>

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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