Conor Murray 'a genuine option' to start No.10 against England
In all likelihood, it will be winner takes a place in the Autumn Nations Cup final.
Ireland put their Guinness Six Nations disappointment behind them as they defeated a poor Welsh side 32-9 at the Aviva Stadium. Conor Murray finished as emergency No.10, and he has given the coaching team something extra to consider.
Tries from Quinn Roux and James Lowe were added to by the trusty boot(s) of Johnny Sexton, Billy Burns and Murray. The Munster scrumhalf filled in at No.10 for the final 16 minutes of the game and kicked two penalties and a conversion as Ireland sealed an emphatic victory.
The win was tempered by injuries to both Sexton and Burns, who left the fray after 28 and 64 minutes respectively. Sexton, who tried and failed to play through a tight hamstring, is going for a scan in the next 24 hours but says he is "hopeful" of featuring against England next weekend.
Should Sexton and Burns mis out on the trip to Twickenham, Ireland coach Andy Farrell may have to dip into the provinces to call-up some out-halves. Jack Carty, Ross Byrne and Ian Madigan are all live options.
However, when asked if Murray, who did well in his stint at first receiver, would be considered for the 10 jersey, especially with Jamison Gibson-Park doing so well, Farrell perked up:
"Conor actually thinks he's a flyhalf already. He did pretty well, didn't he. He's actually played there for us before... he steered the ship for us, out there. He's a genuine option."
Up next in the press briefing room was Sexton himself, who praised Murray for stepping up in the closing stages and joking that the Munster man 'was finally where he belongs'.
Informed of Farrell's comments, Sexton said he had no doubt that a 'fine footballer' like Murray would be able to do a job against England, albeit against a team that are experts at putting pressure on visiting out-halves.
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