MUNSTER and Ireland scrum-half, Conor Murray, is targeting a late November return, for the PRO14 game against Zebre.
The Limerick native will therefore hope to be available for Munster’s back-to-back Heineken Champions Cup games against Castres in December, having not played a game since June’s final Test in Australia.
Murray suffered a neck injury on tour and exacerbated it at training in early September. This has fuelled plenty of rumours, which he moved to clear up yesterday, at a media event to promote Pinergy.
He chose not to disclose the nature of his injury or when he expects to be back, and that decision has been criticised and has fuelled the rumour mill.
“This thing has snowballed, big time,” he said. “Initially, when I was injured at the beginning, we didn’t know when I was going to come back, so I requested that we just say that I am just managing my injury, because we were still trying to figure it out and how long it would be.
“Whether it would be four weeks, four months, would I have to go under the knife? Thankfully not.
“So, that’s why we said. I think it was a week later we said that it was my neck injury and that was it. By the time we had said that, it had snowballed and people had started rumours and stuff.
“Look, I’m training pretty much fully with the squad for the last two-ish weeks, doing controlled contact after training and taking a few bangs that I probably wasn’t expecting and which was great, which I need.”
Meanwhile, Munster centre, Sammy Arnold, and Ulster utility back, Will Addison, are the only new faces in Joe Schmidt’s 42-man squad for the November internationals, while Ross Byrne, who toured Australia in the summer but was unused, is the third uncapped player in the side. Darren Sweetnam also makes a return to the international squad, for the games against Italy, Argentina, New Zealand, and the USA Eagles.