Paddy Jackson set for Japan as Joey Carberry flies home
Ireland coach Richie Murphy well aware of Japan’s threat in two Test series
Kicking coach Richie Murphy: “Japan have turned themselves into a really good side. Play very fast and loose. “Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Ladies and gentlemen of the Japanese media, and respected translators, may we present Richie Murphy.
Ireland’s skills and kicking coach is as sound as they come. He even stalled mid-stream to allow the lady read from her rapidly scribbled notes.
Wait until they meet the guest of honour. The Joe Schmidt experience is Thursday.
Clearly, a very long fortnight of information getting lost in translation is coming. There was black rain in Tokyo this morning but the rising sun is expected tomorrow (Yes, we are listing film titles about white Caucasian males overcoming the way of the samurai. Blame the jet lag).
Anyway, before doublespeak commenced we extracted the relevant intel from Murphy. Joey Carbery’s ankle scan had him ghosted eastwards as Ireland went as far north west, up over Anchorage, as the crow flies until landing in the south east, Tokyo that is.
“Paddy is here and the main outhalf in the country so the likelihood is he will [start on Saturday],” said Murphy once the Japanese media were informed the English only section had begun. “He joined up with us, he was in for the training week [in Carton House], obviously didn’t travel to the US but he is up to speed with everything.
“Over the last 12 months Paddy has turned himself into one of those senior players in the group. We didn’t have him last week so it’s like getting a new player in.”
Japan’s victory over Romania last weekend comes at a cost as co-captain Harumichi Tatekawa and winger Akihito Yamada have been ruled out with injury.
“They will be very tough,” Murphy added. “Japan have turned themselves into a really good side. Play very fast and loose. Will look to go from a lot of quick taps, quick lineouts. Play some really good, structured plays off their set-piece, especially off lineout and scrum. They will be a massive test, they have got some really good players in Fumiaki Tanaka, Yu Tamura, Timothy Lafaele in the backs, obviously in the forwards Amanaki Mafi is a bit of a freak of nature.
“He has been a bit of a stand-out player in Super Rugby. Michael Leitch as well. They have got some really top class players and they are really an up and coming nation.”