Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Conor Murray to make call on availability to face All-Blacks

Conor Murray to make call on availability to face All-Blacks

The Saracens second-rower picked up the problem during Saturday's 16-15 defeat to New Zealand at Twickenham and was replaced by Charlie Ewels in the second half.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is confident centre Robbie Henshaw will be fit to face New Zealand next week and has not completely ruled out scrumhalf Conor Murray from making a surprise return when the world's top two teams meet in Dublin.

"I'd be delighted if we can be as competitive as the last three times we've played them", Schmidt said.

"After the opening game of the 2018 Guinness Series at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening a couple of players will be managed in training today following a physical encounter against Argentina but all are expected to train fully on Tuesday and Thursday".

"Everybody sits there hoping one day he'll come back and put himself back in the mix in New Zealand and we get the benefit of all the experience he's had at an worldwide level and obviously quite a few years successfully at club level as well".

Elsewhere Peter O'Mahony [shoulder], Kieran Marmion and Bundee Aki [both tweaked ankles] were all looked at by medics after the Argentina victory and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was quite upbeat about their recoveries. I just think he will play. "We could have tried to see how he went on the pitch but it was right towards the end of warm-up and we just felt that it would be a two-fold risk: one, would he do more damage?"

"Actually, I thought he was just getting into his rhythm in the game". And they are the No 2 side in the world and you don't get to play one and two that often when they are in two separate hemispheres, so when they do come about, they become pretty big games'.

"If he needs my advice, he'll ask me over a cold beer, a cup of coffee or something where we'll talk about it".

On that occasion, Ireland stormed to a 40-29 victory in Chicago, before New Zealand bounced back to win 21-9 in Dublin.

"I'm assuming Conor Murray will play, they have a good spine", he said.

"We have quality players there, and they all know how to play the game we want to play". So, if you guys have got any spare I've got people to give them to.

"Maybe it's the expectation we have of ourselves or that you guys have of us now that we come out and hit the ground running every time", said Schmidt.

"I've never played against a team that would capitalize on a mistake (so well)".

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