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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 18:34 GMT
Geordan Murphy Q&A
Geordan Murphy
Geordan Murphy
Ireland full-back

Geordan Murphy has been named in the replacements for Ireland's opening RBS Six Nations game against Wales.

He took time out from preparations for the match to answer some of your many e-mails.

What was your reaction after hearing the team announcement on Tuesday?
John O'Brien, Clonmel

I didn't realise that Eddie was looking at me as a winger. In the autumn, he said that because I was playing on the wing then (for Leicester) that I wasn't being selected at full-back. I kind of thought that vice versa would have applied now (with me playing at full-back for Leicester). Last week, I did running at full-back a little bit and I obviously enjoy playing at full-back and I thought I was in contention for a full-back spot. I was very disappointed when I was called out before the meeting and told I was on the bench.

'Ireland' and 'favourites' go together like Paris Hilton and Class! We are woeful favourites in almost every sport we participate in. How have the camp addressed this going into the Six Nations?
Gareth Battersby, Dublin

First of all, I have to make clear that I haven't seen any of Paris Hilton's work but I think I know what you are getting at. Traditionally, we haven't done well as favourites but we have been favourites in a lot of games recently and done well. It's just something that we try not to focus on too much. In fact, there has been no talk at all about the issue at all.

Who is the fastest player in the Ireland squad?
Daryl Mossop, Cork

I've no idea to be quite honest with you. Irish-based players do some kind of speed tests as far as I know but I don't know the results of them. Hickie, Trimble, D'Arcy, O'Driscoll are all quick players and David Wallace is actually a flier but I couldn't tell you who is the quickest.

How do you maintain concentration when the ball is in the air?
Connor O'Shea, Clontarf

It's something that you get used to and a lot of practice helps. You have to focus on the ball and not worry about what's going to happen after you catch it.

Of all the lads in the Ireland squad, who gets/gives the most banter from the other squad members?
Stevie Smooth, Belfast
It's swings and roundabouts. Jerry Flannery gets a good bit and Donncha (O'Callaghan) is constantly getting a bit for his slagging. There was a memorable picture of Donncha in his underpants which appeared in the Irish papers after a Munster match recently and I sent him a text after the game and I think he got a few more about that issue. With the high-profile players like Ronan O'Gara and Brian O'Driscoll, when their names are in the papers it gives the lads a bit of ammunition so they probably get the most.

Great players are always trying to improve their weaknesses. How do you plan to improve your tackling?
John Healy, New York, USA

Cheers John. We all have to work on our game. I like to think that because my attacking game is strong that some people will always level that criticism at me. Putting on a bit of weight in the off-season is hopefully helping the physical aspect of my game. I put on about a stone after doing quite a lot of gym work.

Will playing at Croke Park be any different than Lansdowne Road?
Phil Hewitt, Antrim

I think it will. It will be a very special occasion for everybody at Croke Park. An extra 30,000 should make it a very vocal place. We trained at Croke Park last week and everything was great. The pitch was beautiful and the facilities were fantastic. I'm really looking forward to the Croke Park games.

Do the other Six Nations teams understand the weight of expectation levelled at the Irish players for their home matches at Croke Park - and particularly the game against England?
Peter Foley, Ireland

I don't think they do. They know that it's a special stadium and that the Irish team will be fired up but I don't think they realise exactly what the national rugby team playing at Croke Park will mean to Irish people.

Well, there's really only one question, isn't there? Are we really ready to use a Grand Slam as a stepping stool to even greater glory at Stade de France in October?
Fergus Keogh, Paris

As everyone will tell you, you cross every bridge when you come to it. France and the World Cup is a long time away.

If you would like to ask Geordan a question during the course of the Six Nations, fill in the form at the top right of this page.


The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

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