Scrum-half Conor Murray hailed Ian Madigan’s calming influence in replacing Johnny Sexton last night, who trudged out after just 25 minutes.
Madigan has just five Test starts for Ireland, but Murray believes the Leinster playmaker showed the world every inch of his class against France.
The 26-year-old would play a pivotal role against Argentina should Sexton lose his fitness battle after his groin strain.
“It was a huge performance from Ian Madigan,” said Murray. “I said to him afterwards – it was a massive test and challenge for him, and he passed it with flying colours.
“Straight away he came on and kicked a penalty and I think that might have settled his nerves.
Jonathan Sexton reacts following a tackle as team-mate Conor Murray looks on.
Picture: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE
“Losing someone like Johnny is huge for the team, and I think Mads probably felt an extra bit of pressure on him coming on. And I think he delivered in spades.
“Not only his own performance but he just had a bit of composure about him when he came on.
“He understands the game plan very well, he knows exactly what we want to do, and he just carried that confidence throughout the team and he just put people at ease when things were tight.
“He knew what we wanted to do and we were just constantly chatting on the pitch.
“I’ve known Ian for a long time and I’ve always known how good he is.
“So it’s no surprise to me, but I think it’s great for everyone to see what he’s capable of.”