Conor Murray’s fitness has been the subject of much debate. The Munster scrum half was left out of Ireland’s 42-man squad for the November internationals.
He hasn’t played yet this season and recently said he didn’t expect to be fit until December because of a neck problem. All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has publicly questioned that status of Murray’s injury, wondering whether it was “an Irish trick”.
Now Ireland’s forwards coach Simon Easterby has revealed that Murray has been training at Ireland’s Carton House camp and a return against the All Blacks on November 17th remains a possibility.
“No, he hasn’t been ruled out,” Easterby said, “A little bit like some of the others, he’s been on a longer-term injury list but he’s in camp this week. He’s been in Carton and we’ll probably assess him as we go through the series.
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“Everyone that was selected in that squad is not necessarily fit now but they’re potentially available throughout the series. We’ll make decisions on each individual case as we go through the series.
“But with Conor it’s giving him an opportunity to get back in with us, working with some treatment but also there’s still potential.”
Easterby, who was speaking ahead of Ireland’s game with Italy in Chicago, also tried to alleviate concerns over veteran full-back Rob Kearney, who picked up a shoulder injury while playing for Leinster against Treviso at the weekend and Munster captain Peter O’Mahony who also picked up a similar injury against Glasgow Warriors.
“They will be working this week with (IRFU head physiotherapist) Colm Fuller, who stayed back (in Ireland). As far as we’re concerned at the moment, everyone that’s named in that squad still has the potential to play throughout the November Series.”
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