Murray given Ireland chance

O'Leary a surprise omission from World Cup squad

Last Updated: 22/08/11 9:08pm

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Conor Murray has been named in Ireland's 30-man World Cup squad at the expense of fellow Munster scrum-half Tomas O'Leary.

Murray has made only one Test appearance, against France in Bordeaux on August 13, but has been chosen to travel to New Zealand alongside Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss.

Many thought O'Leary was coach Declan Kidney's first choice at the position but he has been left out after a poor display in Saturday's 26-22 loss to Les Bleus in Dublin.

Leicester full-back Geordan Murphy is included in the squad, as is Leinster utility back Fergus McFadden, but wing Luke Fitzgerald misses out.

Murphy's hopes of inclusion looked to be over after he started the second string's victory over Connacht last Thursday and his call-up comes as something of a surprise.

Injury

Tigers captain Murphy's chances also seemed to be doubtful but the 33-year-old has taken advantage of a foot injury to Felix Jones, who has been ruled out of the competition.

Alongside O'Leary, Fitzgerald is another big-name casualty who has also paid the price for a lack of form, with his second-half substitute appearance against France not enough to convince Kidney he should be included.

McFadden's ability to cover wing and centre strengthened his claim for a place in the squad, which will be captained by Brian O'Driscoll and is split 16-14 between forwards and backs.

Only four props will travel with Tony Buckley securing the last available place ahead of John Hayes and Marcus Horan.

Donnacha Ryan travels as the fourth lock but also offers back-row cover, while Stephen Ferris features after making his first appearance since January on Saturday.

Andrew Trimble's fine form during the summer is rewarded and his rival wing Tommy Bowe is present despite not having played in the warm-up contests because of a foot problem.

Ireland squad for the Rugby World Cup: R Best (Ulster), I Boss (Leinster), T Bowe (Ospreys), T Buckley (Sale), T Court (Ulster), S Cronin (Leinster), L Cullen (Leinster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), K Earls (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), J Flannery (Munster), C Healy (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster), R Kearney (Leinster), D Leamy (Munster), F McFadden (Leinster), G Murphy (Leicester), C Murray (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), R O'Gara (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), M Ross (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), J Sexton (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster), P Wallace (Ulster), D Wallace (Munster).

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