Stephen Ferris believes there's a massive opportunity for Conor Murray to remind both Andy Farrell and Warren Gatland of his scrum-half class if he's given the chance to shine against England on Saturday.

Murray didn't get off the bench at all during last Saturday's narrow defeat of the Scots, with Farrell sticking with Jamison Gibson Park throughout.

However Ferris sees Murray as the man to help Ireland slay the old enemy in Dublin, and also highlighted the fact that Gatland could do with another high-quality scrum-half putting their hands up for his British and Irish Lions squad ahead of their tour to South Africa in the summer.

"Ben Youngs possibly in England is nailed down but take him out of the equation and there isn't anyone else that's jumping out," Ferris told RTÉ's Game On when mulling the Lions' options.

"Ali Price had a bit of a shocker at the weekend, Conor Murray's not in form for Andy Farrell, Jamison Gibson Park, I thought his box-kicking was off at the weekend and against a better team a few of those might get punished. 

"I just feel there's an opportunity there for somebody to really step up this weekend to say to not only Andy Farrell but also Warren Gatland, 'look, I'm here, I'm playing well'. It'll be interesting to see who is selected at 9 [for Ireland].

"Conor Murray has not played much rugby over the last while and suffered with a few niggles but I'd like to see him play. I know how much of a class player he is. 

"Maybe the old Murray-Sexton combination might come back on Saturday."

Ferris also had his say on the surprise retirement of CJ Stander, who has announced he will hang up his boots in June.  

Stander won his 50th Irish cap last weekend against Scotland but has confirmed he will retire "from all forms of rugby" when his Munster deal expires at the end of the mid-year Test window. He is just 30 years old.

"It's strange I think," added Ferris. "It just feels all a bit too premature for me considering he is still fairly young.

"In my opinion he still has plenty to offer for Ireland and for Munster but you've got to to respect his decision. His wife and his kids I believe are in South Africa and he wants to go back and raise his family back home there and get back on the farm and everything else.

"He's been brilliant since he came in. There's huge appreciation for him across the whole island of Ireland. Nobody can question what he's given to the red jersey of Munster, the green jersey of Ireland or even the red of the British and Irish Lions. 

"He's a tenacious guy, very genuine by all accounts. 

"As much as we all want to see CJ Stander keep churning it out, in fairness to him he has 50 caps and he only started playing in 2015. That's a lot of international matches under the belt in a short period of time so maybe it's taking its toll on him as well."

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