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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 06:42 GMT 07:42 UK
Geordan Murphy Q&A
Geordan Murphy
Geordan Murphy
Ireland full-back/wing

Geordan Murphy will be the bench for Ireland's opening World Cup game against Namibia on Sunday. He took time out from his preparations to answer some of your questions.

Q: You have been named in the replacements for Sunday's game. What's your reaction?
Fiona, 33, London

I'm involved so I'm pleased but obviously it would be nicer to be playing. I can't do anything about that but I'm looking forward to getting a run and getting a World Cup cap. I didn't run too much in the team during the week so I wasn't expecting to play.

Q: The new Ireland jersey has raised a few eyebrows since its release. I personally prefer the old shirt because of the colour. What is your feeling on the new jersey and do you and the team prefer it to the old shirt?
Timmy, 15, Dublin

It's something that I haven't thought too much about. The tight shirt is pretty much the way the game is going with teams looking to get those small percentage edges. It's not going to be detrimental to our performance. The colour is a little bit darker than we're used to but I'm used to playing in a darker green again for Leicester. I must admit though, it's quite difficult getting on and off because of the tightness.

Q: What is Eddie's view on WAGS coming along to the World Cup? Will the players be able to see them or will Eddie be trying to keep them away?
Brendan, 29, London

I think the official line is that we're allowed to see wives and girlfriends on our off-days and also after matches - our recovery days. I don't think they are supposed to be here pre-match.

Q: Do you have a preference for starting a game or coming on later as an impact sub when there might be a bit more space about?
Tom, 43, Kildare

I always prefer starting a game. I don't particularly enjoy being on the bench. You're just getting nervous and warming up and cooling down and then it's a case of "Right...go." It's always easier to start.

Q: Firstly, who won the golf at Seafield between you and Brian (O'Driscoll)? Also with the time between games being shorter than your average Six Nations matches, are the preparations any different?
Gary, 35, Dublin

Firstly, the golf game against Brian didn't come off in the end although I did get playing at Seafield on the Friday with my family. The golf wasn't great but it was nice to get some time out before the big event. In terms of your second question Gary, the time difference is not really that shorter than the Six Nations. We've six days between the first three games which is maybe a day shorter than most Six Nations games. We might have to change things slightly but I don't know if Eddie is going to rotate the squad or play the same team three weeks in a row. Only he knows that and it will probably dictate what the story is with training a lot.

Q: Given that it is widely acknowledged that the current Irish team is the best in Ireland's history, will anything less than winning the World Cup be failure for you?
Richard, 38, California

That's a very difficult question Richard. We know we have a lot of talent in the squad but in saying that, winning the World Cup would be an absolute dream. Of course, that's what we're aiming towards. It's a big ask. We could play to our potential and get beaten by a better team - with us playing some fantastic rugby in the process. As long as we can look back and be very proud of our performances and really remember this tournament, I think we'll be happy with that.

Q: Are the team surprised at being written off by most commentators over here despite results over the past few seasons.
D, 58, Hertfordshire

It's a good position for us to be in. It takes the pressure off us a little bit. I don't think an Irish team has ever been tipped to do well in the British press and it doesn't bother the team in the slightest.

Q: How have you found training and playing with Brian Carney? Does he bring something different to training because of his rugby league background?
Neil, 23, Edinburgh

He's a really nice guy Brian and he definitely brings something to the party. He's got expertise in different areas and some different drills. He's garnered some particularly good ideas from rugby league defence and he's very good to talk to and great at sharing his ideas and experience.

Q: Looking forward to the next World Cup, who is your tip to be Ireland's next big thing? Is there a future B O'D among the youths? Also, will you still stay involved with the national side once you've called time on your career?
Patrick, 17, Ilchester

I'm not that familiar with the younger guys although I've seen them playing on the TV a couple of times. I did watch the Ireland U20s against Wales last year and the young full-back Felix Jones did very well. I was rooting for him because he comes from near my neck of the woods. Luke Fitzgerald and Robert Kearney in the Leinster set-up are two very talented guys and already in the senior set-up with Jamie Heaslip. I'm sure they will be big names in the next World Cup. I don't know when I'm going to retire but I wouldn't think I'll be involved after that with the Ireland set-up. I might get involved in coaching at a very junior level but I doubt if I will go any further with that.

Q: Keith Wood was obviously one of the characters in previous World Cup squads. Who has taken his mantle in the current squad?
Darren, 35, Belfast

I actually always thought Woody was quite serious so I don't know if he was that much of a character. Probably the two main characters we have at the moment are Simon Easterby and Donncha O'Callaghan. Simon's always cracking gags, jumping out of cupboards and getting up to practical jokes while Donncha is always up to a bit of mischief as well.

Q: Being an ex-pat from Dublin living here in Japan, I am looking forward to you scoring a few tries Geordan. Just wondering if you think our fixture line-up is an advantage or disadvantage in terms us playing Namibia and Georgia first rather than France and Argentina? Would it be better to have the bigger games separated by games against Namibia and Georgia rather than back-to-back?
Greg, 33, Hiroshima

I think overall, it's worked out as an advantage. We didn't know if O'Driscoll and Shane Horgan were going to be fit for the first game even though Brian is okay now and Shane will be ready for next week's match. If we can come out of the blocks fast and furious, we'll just have to maintain that. If the display is a little bit poor against Namibia, then we can look to rectify that without it having been terminal. We have nine days between France and Argentina which is good for us as well.

Q: I've always admired you for your high ball catches. Do you block out of your mind the opposition bearing down on you or do you keep half an eye on who is around you?
Mark, 26, Dublin

You have to be aware of who is chasing the ball and what they are going to try and do. But once the ball is kicked, it's pretty much eye on the ball all the way.

Geordan Murphy's column
04 Sep 07 |  Irish


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