Here at Whiff of Cordite we’re monitoring the performance of Ireland’s multitude of nearly-good scrum halves with interest. Last weekend we had arguably Reddan’s worst performance of the season followed by a high class cameo from Isaac Boss.

It’s with some dismay that we noted the team selection for Munster’s game against Connacht this weekend. Banished from the 23 is Conor Murray, as old Slow Pass is recalled following recovery from a bizarre eye-injury. Now, worry not, Whiff of Cordite doesn’t buy into the mega-hype surrounding the latest Munster player to put two decent Magners League games together, but we were rather impressed with Murray’s mixture of physicality, wristy pass and skyscraping box kicks. And we’re still trying to work out exactly what it is that makes O’Leary so attractive to both his provincial and international manager. No doubt Uncle Deccie will be delighted – as the Grauniad observed, it will take a crane to get him out of the Ireland team.

The pity is that Murray isn’t even on the bench. It seems McGahan still sees Stringer as the man to launch for the final quarter, in spite of the fact that his game is looking frail these days: witness his awful pass to Rog in trying to set up a winning drop goal against the Ospreys recently.

We had Murray down as a World Cup bolter, but this is a setback for his chances. Our current forecast is O’Leary, Reddan and Stringer to travel to New Zealand. Our panel would be Reddan, Boss, Murray.