Leinster’s back row forward Jordi Murphy cannot wait to start his first game for Ireland when they take on Argentina on Saturday and says it will be a dream come true.
The 23-year old has two appearances off the bench to his name but is in the starting line-up for the first time for the opening Test against the Pumas in Resistencia.
He made his debut in the Six Nations loss away to England and picked up his second cap in the win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.
But now he has been given the opportunity to make a mark, named at number eight in a back row which also includes Chris Henry and debutant Robbie Diack.
Murphy, who was born in Barcelona before his family moved back to Ireland when he was eight, said: “It’s my first start for Ireland so I’m really excited about that.
“I’m just looking to repay the faith the coaches, Joe (Schmidt) especially, have shown in me to give me that first start.
“One of the dreams you’d have growing up (is to play for your country).
“I had two games off the bench for Ireland but I’ve been looking for that start and I’m really excited for now and I’m going out to make the most of it and leave a mark.”
Murphy knows opportunities to impress his former Leinster coach on the international scene will be far and few between now and the World Cup, but he is starting in an Irish side full of confidence despite so many changes from the triumphant Six Nations side.
He continued: “It is a building block I suppose to the World Cup, there are about 10 games to go before then, so we really have to set our stall out and with the new faces coming in, put our name in the hat for then.
“It’s exciting times. We are high in confidence and there is a good buzz through the squad so we are really looking forward to this weekend.”
The Pumas may also be under strength but Murphy said all their research indicates a massive challenge from the home side in Resistencia.
He added: “They are an incredibility combative side. Really hungry, come at you from all angles really.
“And you just can’t knock off at all because they are a big team. They really punch on opportunities if they think you switch off at all.
“We’ve watched a lot of their game tape and a lot of their tries come from team knocking off or knock-ons and they just pounce on the ball and play quickly and get their tries.
“So they are just a really combative, aggressive side and we’ll have to meet that,” he added.