Conor Murray: Injured Irish scrum-half not being ruled out of NZ Test

Ireland's Conor Murray
Conor Murray has not played since Ireland's 2-1 series win over Australia in June

Conor Murray has not been ruled out of Ireland's autumn international against New Zealand on 17 November.

The Munster scrum-half has not played this season because of a neck injury but he is training with the Irish team.

Murray is among the senior players to stay in Ireland while the rest of the squad has travelled to Chicago for Saturday's opening Test against Italy.

"No, he hasn't been ruled out," said forwards coach Simon Easterby of Ireland's first-choice number nine.

"A little bit like some of the others, he's been on a longer-term injury list but he is in camp this week. He's been in Carton House [the team's training base] and we'll probably assess him as we go through the series.

Murray, who recently agreed a two-year contract extension with Munster and the Irish Rugby Football Union, was not named in the Ireland squad for the November internationals against Italy, Argentina, New Zealand and the United States but he could still be drafted in for the visit of New Zealand to Dublin.

"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," added Easterby.

"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."

Murray started all three Tests of the British and Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand last year and All Blacks' head coach Steve Hansen has already hinted that he expected the scrum-half to face his side in Dublin, describing the uncertainty surrounding the player's injury as "an Irish trick".

The match between New Zealand and Ireland at the Aviva Stadium will feature the teams ranked first and second respectively in the World Rugby rankings.

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