Ireland: Jordi Murphy called up to Rugby World Cup squad after Jack Conan is ruled out

By Michael MorrowBBC Sport NI in Shizuoka
Jordi Murphy during Ireland's win over New Zealand last November
Jordi Murphy's 29 Ireland caps include the wins over the All Blacks in 2016 and 2018

Ulster back row Jordi Murphy has been called into Ireland's World Cup squad to replace injured Jack Conan.

Murphy, 28, will join Ireland in Kobe on Sunday as they begin preparations for their third Pool A game against Russia on Thursday.

Conan suffered a fracture when a team-mate accidentally trod on his foot in training last Thursday.

Centre Chris Farrell will miss the Russia game after being concussed in Saturday's shock defeat by hosts Japan.

"Chris Farrell has a confirmed concussion, so he won't recover in time for Thursday," said Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby.

Robbie Henshaw has resumed training following his hamstring injury but Thursday's game may come too soon for the Leinster centre.

Aki likely to replace Farrell against Russia

Bundee Aki looks a more likely option to replace Farrell with the Connacht midfielder expected to be available after his own head injury issues.

Joe Schmidt's side will be in desperate need of a bonus-point win over Russia in order to reignite their campaign.

Easterby said that Murphy will be available for selection and he looks likely to be involved given that Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander formed the starting back row in the opening two matches.

With 29 international caps Murphy offers considerable experience and was a part of Ireland's 2015 World Cup squad, scoring a try in their quarter-final defeat by Argentina.

At the start of the 2018-19 season he moved from Leinster to Ulster in search of regular game-time that would prolong his international career, and impressed during his first season in Belfast.

"We are fortunate that Jordi Murphy is joining us, he gives us great coverage especially as he can play anywhere across the back row," added Easterby.

Full-back Rob Kearney and prop Tadhg Furlong needed to undergo head injury assessments during the game - with Furlong coming back on to the pitch - and both remain in contention for selection.

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