Conor Murray is a "genuine option" to start at out-half for Ireland's trip to play England next Saturday, says head coach Andy Farrell.
Captain Johnny Sexton was withdrawn after 29 minutes of the team’s 32-9 win over Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night and replacement Billy Burns, making his debut, went off for a head injury assessment in the 62nd minute.
The Ulster player was replaced by Murray, who kicked eight points and performed all his out-half duties well.
"He actually thinks he’s a fly-half already," said Farrell with a smile in the post-match press conference.
"He did pretty well, didn’t he? Conor has played there before for us, he’s a smart rugby player.
"He understands what’s going on across the backline, not just at out-half or scrum-half.
"He steered the ship really well for us so he’s a genuine option there definitely."
Farrell felt his side were worthy winners on the night: "I thought it was better than a 10-point lead at half-time and then second half a little bit disjointed at times but I thought Wales did a good job on our speed of ball and breakdown, it just stopped a little bit of continuity," said Farrell.
"Overall I thought it was a dominant performance and the scoreline is a reflective one, I would have thought."
Jamison Gibson-Park was hailed by Farrell for his performance at scrum-half and Sexton, who will have a scan on an injured hamstring tomorrow, also backed Murray to step up if required against England.
"He did it very well," said the 35-year-old, who won his 100th cap.
"When you are a natural footballer like he is and you know the game really well like he does, it’s never seamless but he acquitted himself brilliantly.
"Obviously, against England at Twickenham, it’s a different type of game but I’m sure if he got thrown in there, he’d do a good job.
"He’s a brilliant competitor and a great player and we still think that he’s world class in our environment."
Sexton, meanwhile, remains optimistic about running out at Twickenham.
"It doesn't feel too serious. Just very frustrating. I thought initially I was going to be able to run it off but unfortunately not," said Sexton.
"Tomorrow I will probably get a scan and see if there is any little damage done but I am still hopeful for next week."
Asked about the possibility of facing England with the number 10 shirt on his back, Murray said: "I'll say it to [Andy, 'give me the jersey', see how he reacts," he said half in jest.
"Training week in, week out with the 10s outside you, having a bit of an understanding of what they are wanting from you as a 9 and then it did make it a little bit easier to slot in one position over.
"I know it’s an awful lot different but just having a decent idea of the way we want to play as a team [helps]."
Farrell said he is hopeful that late withdrawals Iain Henderson and Jacob Stockdale will return to training next week.