Luke Fitzgerald has said that Ireland shouldn’t risk playing Conor Murray against the All Blacks next month as the scrum-half continues his recovery from injury.
Murray has yet to play this season after suffering a reoccurrence of a neck issue during the summer tour in Australia. The scrum-half recently announced that he is targeting a late-November return to club action, which would rule him out of all four of Ireland’s autumn internationals.
Joe Schmidt’s side host the All Blacks on November 17 in a blockbuster battle of the number one and two ranked teams in the world, with Kieran Marmion likely to deputise in Murray’s absence.
However, last week Ronan O’Gara said that he thinks Murray may still start against the world champions, while All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has also said that he thinks the Munster star might feature.
Speaking on The Left Wing, Independent.ie’s rugby podcast, Luke Fitzgerald said that although he thinks Murray probably could play against New Zealand, it is best for the scrum-half’s long-term health for him to sit out the game.
“He shouldn’t do it,” Fitzgerald said.
“He should take the time. The guy is always really fit. I guarantee he could come in and do a job for you. Murray is really fit, he is a strong guy and he would have no problem fitting back in. He should take extra time here. That injury – especially in his position with his passing – he needs to manage it well.
“In Murray’s case, it is an injury where you need to get it to calm down. He will get this thing fixed. For him, it would be a bad idea [to play in the November internationals]. He should take the time.
“I think for Joe [Schmidt] in the long term, he needs to test one of the other guys.”
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