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Hansen: 'Conor Murray will play'

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Steve Hansen: 'Conor Murray will play'

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen believes that star Ireland halfback Conor Murray will 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 yet to be 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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Steve Hansen: 'Conor Murray will play'