Rugby Union: Murphy wins cap for Irish

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The Independent Online
TRUST the Irish, who have decided to go into Saturday's Lansdowne Road international against Australia without Steve Smith, their tried and tested hooker. A regular since 1988, Smith gives way to John Murphy, a 29- year-old from the Greystones club who will be winning his first cap.

Murphy, who had an excellent game for Leinster against the Wallabies in Dublin the Saturday before last, is the only newcomer to international rugby in an Ireland side captained by Philip Danaher.

Phil Lawlor, whose only cap came against Argentina in 1990, is recalled at No 8, Brian Robinson switching to the blindside. Richard Wallace moves from right to left wing to accommodate Simon Geoghegan in his normal position.

IRELAND (v Australia, Lansdowne Road, 31 October): J Staples (London Irish); S Geoghegan (London Irish), P Danaher (Garryowen, capt), V Cunningham (St Mary's College), R Wallace (Garryowen); P Russell (Instonians), F Aherne (Lansdowne); N Popplewell (Greystones), J Murphy (Greystones), P McCarthy (Cork Constitution), M Galwey (Shannon), P Johns (Dungannon), B Robinson (London Irish), P Lawlor (Bective Rangers), G Hamilton (Ballymena). Replacements: R Saunders (London Irish), A N Other, C Wilkinson (Malone), K Wood (Garryowen), G Halpin (London Irish), K Leahy (Wanderers).