Whenever his chance comes against Argentina on Sunday, Jordi Murphy understands the need to grab the opportunity by the scruff of the neck.
The Ireland back-rower has had to settle for the role of a bit-part player, his only game time coming with 80 minutes in the pool victory over Romania three Sundays ago.
Injury to Peter O’Mahony and suspension for Sean O’Brien have wreaked havoc on the Ireland back row since Sunday’s win over France, and Murphy, 24, appears certain to feature in this weekend’s World Cup quarter-final.
“If I get a chance, I will be looking to take it with both hands,” Murphy said. “It’s exciting being involved in everything and that game against Romania but there is also a bit of a tough side to it as well, training away and then not getting as many games on the weekend.”
Murphy described his performance against Romania merely as “OK” but his and others’ efforts running opposition plays have not been lost on the front-liners, however mentally testing it may be for those concerned.
“It has been tough. It’s disappointing when they name the team and you’re not in it. But I was always saying that my main role was to get to the World Cup and from there, it was to play as well.
“It’s just one of those things you have to take on the chin. They’ve gone with other selections and you’ve got to put your disappointment and frustration aside and just work for the collective.”
Now that he could get the chance, the prospect of replacing blindside O’Mahony, either starting or off the bench, does not faze Murphy, who admires the Munster captain’s lineout work.
“I’ve worked very hard on my lineout in the last few months. I think it’s one of the things I would have tried to emulate Peter.
“When I was running at six and playing there earlier on in games, it’s definitely one of the things he brings to the squad, that (explosiveness) in the air, his quick read time.
“I suppose I’ve been trying to learn from him in the last while and if I get a go, hopefully I’ll be able to do it justice.”
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