GEORDAN MURPHY has, as expected, been drafted into the Ireland squad to replace Rob Kearney ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash with England.
Murphy has not played for Ireland since helping them complete the Grand Slam against Wales last March.
The 31-year-old has been restricted to just three Guinness Premiership appearances for Leicester since dislocating his shoulder last September.
But he was in superb form in yesterday’s 33-11 rout of Gloucester, scoring one of his side’s four tries, and has been included after Kearney was ruled out for between three and five weeks with a knee injury suffered in the 33-10 loss to France.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney will name his side to face England at lunchtime tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Dwayne Peel has been called into Warren Gatland’s showdown with France at the Millennium Stadium.
The Sale scrum-half has recovered from a groin injury and proved his fitness by playing 80 minutes for the Sharks in their 19-10 Guinness Premiership defeat against Leeds on Friday night.
The 72-times capped number nine replaces Scarlets’ half-back Martin Roberts, who has been released back to his region.
Peel suffered the injury in Sale’s Heineken Cup defeat at Cardiff Blues last month and left head coach Gatland with a major selection headache, with British and Irish Lion Mike Phillips also missing Wales’ opening two games against England and Scotland.
And Gatland believes Peel’s experience will provide his side with a real boost.
“It was important for us to see Dwayne come through 80 minutes of rugby,” he said.
“But, once he proved his fitness, it’s obvious that a player of his experience and talents would provide a welcome boost to any squad.”
IRELAND squad: R Best, T Bowe, T Buckley, T Court, S Cronin, L Cullen, G D’Arcy, G Duffy, K Earls, S Ferris, J Hayes, C Henry, C Healy, J Heaslip, M Horan, S Horgan, D Hurley, S Jennings, K McLaughlin, J Murphy, G Murphy, D O’Callaghan, B O’Driscoll, P O’Connell, R O’Gara, T O’Leary, E Reddan, J Sexton, A Trimble, D Tuohy, D Wallace, P Wallace.
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