Murray fit for World Cup start

Date published: September 5 2015

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Ireland boss Joe Schmidt confirmed that Conor Murray will be fit for the start of the Rugby World Cup after suffering a concussion.

Murray went off early in the first half at Twickenham and after being knocked out in a collision with Joe Marler.

Schmidt revealed that Ireland would take no chance with one of their most important players, while also addressing again Ireland's selection of only two scrum-halves in their World Cup squad.

"He came through the assessment successfully but because he was knocked down it was prudent to leave him off the pitch, so he sat out. He and Eoin were looking to get 40 minutes each anyway, but he'll come through the protocols and be fully fit for the start of the Rugby World Cup.

"It's been a long time since he had a concussion and coming off the pitch he was fine. Going back ten or 15 years he might have even played on.

"Conor’s a pretty important player for us both behind the line and at the front, the velocity of his pass is top notch. We don’t want to lose a good player so it was good to see him being quite perky and bouncing off the pitch. We need to look after our personnel and we’ll do that through the protocols.

"If we didn’t gamble with the scrum-halves we would have gambled somewhere else. Covering all your options with 31 players isn’t possible. We would have had to give up a back three player or midfielder with another nine in there and it’s fair because that’s what everyone has got, but if we do get a scrum-half injury then we have to make a decision."

Schmidt also said that Ireland had taken a cautious approach with Jonathan Sexton and Simon Zebo, who both were suffering from cramp.

"In a different time or Test match, Jonny and Simon may have stayed on and we might have taken a risk, but as they were cramping up we decided to get them off.

"It wasn't ideal. We had Chris Henry on the wing and Ian Madigan at full-back for a while and it just meant it was pretty awkward to make those replacements. For the second week we had guys out of position."

Switching his focus to the contest itself, Schmidt admitted that when it came to the attritional battle Ireland had lost out to a fired up England side.

"We wouldn’t be the biggest team – we kind of have to dance around a bit to stay in the fight sometimes. 

"We couldn’t get access to the ball or field position and they had us really under the hammer with long periods of possession. 

"Our scrum probably allowed us to hang in there in that first 25 minutes and we wasted opportunities, turning the ball over just before half-time at that lineout. Those are times you can’t afford to do that. 

"In the context of being 15-3 down and then 15-13 down later on, it probably does reflect a little bit of the spirit in the side."

Schmidt however refused to panic despite back-to-back losses to Wales and England ahead of the World Cup for the Six Nations champions.

"There’s not too much panic from us, it’s more external. But there are always anxieties – are we up to speed, do we have the power when the big teams come to play.

"Over the last two years we've done enough to show that we can hang in there and get results. We’d like to think that we’ll keep working away and hopefully demonstrate that again."

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