Rugby Union

Ireland dealt blow as Murray is ruled out of November internationals

Ireland dealt sizeable blow as Conor Murray is ruled out of November internationals with ongoing neck issue

  • Ireland have upcoming matches with Italy, Argentina, New Zealand and the USA
  • Joe Schmidt’s side will be without Conor Murray who has an ongoing neck issue
  • He hasn’t played since summer tour to Australia and isn’t ready for match action
  • England Under-20s graduate Will Addison has earned his first Ireland call-up

Conor Murray will miss Ireland’s November internationals due to ongoing neck troubles, in a sizeable blow to head coach Joe Schmidt’s plans.

Ireland must now face Italy in Chicago, then Argentina, New Zealand and the USA in Dublin without British and Irish Lions and Munster scrum-half Murray.

Murray has not played since Ireland’s summer tour to Australia, and while he has returned to Munster training he is not yet ready for match action.

Conor Murray will miss the upcoming matches against Italy, Argentina, New Zealand and USA

Conor Murray will miss the upcoming matches against Italy, Argentina, New Zealand and USA

Murray has an ongoing neck issue and has not played since Ireland's summer tour to Australia

Murray has an ongoing neck issue and has not played since Ireland’s summer tour to Australia

Ulster’s John Cooney steps up in Murray’s absence, with Will Addison, Sam Arnold and Ross Byrne the three uncapped players in Ireland’s 42-man squad. 

Murray moved to explain his injury situation on Wednesday, with updates on his neck troubles having been previously intermittent.

Asked when he might be back in action, Murray told reporters: ‘A couple of weeks; obviously the (Ireland) squad is being named today and I haven’t chatted to anyone.

‘I’ve been over and back and they know where I am with the injury.

‘I’d have been lucky to be named in it because I haven’t played and you need that – especially with the calibre of Argentina and the All Blacks in particular. You’re going to have to be ready.

‘So, in and around the end of November hopefully.’ 

England Under-20s graduate Will Addison has earned his first Ireland call-up this week

England Under-20s graduate Will Addison has earned his first Ireland call-up this week

Joe Schmidt has named his squad but will have to do without one of his biggest players

Joe Schmidt has named his squad but will have to do without one of his biggest players

England Under-20s graduate Addison has earned his first Ireland call-up, qualifying to represent Schmidt’s men with his mother hailing from Fermanagh.

IRELAND TEST SQUAD

Forwards 

Rory Best, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Dan Leavy, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier

Backs

Will Addison, Bundee Aki, Sam Arnold, Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway, John Cooney, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Kieran Marmion, Stuart McCloskey, Luke McGrath, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale, Darren Sweetnam 

The 26-year-old has starred at full-back since his summer switch to Ulster, but his versatility across the backline will boost boss Schmidt’s resources.

Munster centre Arnold and Leinster fly-half Byrne complete the trio of uncapped faces in Schmidt’s line-up.

Evergreen hooker Rory Best continues as captain, with Johnny Sexton and Peter O’Mahony named as vice captains.

Ireland start their four-match series by facing Italy in Chicago on Saturday, November 3, with the eagerly-anticipated clash with back-to-back world champions New Zealand at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Saturday, November 17.

‘As always there have been a number of close calls in selection, meaning that some very good players have missed out in this particular window,’ said head coach Schmidt.

‘The upcoming series offers an exciting opportunity for the squad but will also be very challenging.’

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