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Henshaw and Murray out

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Murray and Henshaw to take no part in November series

Ireland’s chances of beating the All Black’s took a fresh hammer blow with news that Robbie Henshaw will take no further part in Ireland’s November Tests.

The IRFU issued the following statement: “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.

“Robbie Henshaw’s hamstring issue will rule him out of the remainder of the Guinness Series.

“Conor Murray is accelerating through his recovery but will not join the squad during the Guinness Series window.”

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen had said he believed that star Murray would suit up when his side march into the Aviva on Saturday.

“Big players get up and if they think they are right to play, then let them play,” Hansen said. “They are competitors and Conor Murray is a real competitor. If he says he is right to play, he will be right to play.”

Murray hasn’t played since June but has been training with the Ireland squad and is now ruled out of appearing against the All Blacks this weekend.

“I am not saying that to cause any stirring,” Hansen added. “I just think he is a real competitor, he will want to play and if he’s got the chance I’m picking he will want to play.

“If it was one of our guys in the same boat, he would be putting his hand up to play.”

Hansen also said the Irish halves pairing of Murray and Jonny Sexton were two of the world’s best.

“Right across the park, they are a good team. Tactically they are smart, they are good in the air. I am assuming Conor Murray will play, so they have got a good spine.

“He and Sexton are two of the best players in the world, so they will drive them around the park good.”

Murray and Sexton combined for the Lions when they played the All Blacks last year, and also played a crucial role in Ireland’s maiden victory over New Zealand, a 40-29 beating in Chicago in 2016.

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Murray and Henshaw to take no part in November series