herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Murphy chips in to curb Castrogiovanni

GEORDAN Murphy and Martin |Castrogiovanni have been exchanging insults as the countdown to Ireland's crucial World Cup clash with Italy continues.

The Leicester team-mates own a restaurant together and with Sunday's showdown at Otago Stadium looming, the two have been in close contact.

“If you look at the shape of both of us, I tend to drink a lot of water and he tends to eat a lot of food,” said Murphy.

“He's a good mate of mine, he's a fantastic prop and he's a different character off the field to what he is on it. He's certainly one of Italy's key players. He's been texting me. The closer the game gets, I'm receiving more and more text messages from him.

“He swears a lot at me in Italian and he's trying to teach me all the bad words. I'm not going to repeat them.”

Castrogiovanni is known as one of the most destructive scrummagers in the game, but Murphy has devised a plan that will see Ireland nullify him.

“I'm big into my scrummaging, so I'll definitely be telling my forwards about how to scrummage him!” he said.

“I'm thinking of leaving some baskets of chips in the corners of the changing room for him. \[Tom Lovejoy\]That should do it.

“The amount he eats, it should distract him quite nicely.”

Sunday's showdown will determine which of the two Pool C rivals progress to the quarter-finals.

Ireland are 1/10 favourites to prevail after amassing 15 successive victories in the fixture, but Italy were denied only by a late drop-goal in their last meeting in the Six Nations in February.

“After they lost to Australia, Italy said they're targeting this game,” said Murphy. “They've openly said they want to reach the quarter-finals, which means they want to beat Ireland.

“They've improved massively over the years. They're a serious side

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