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World player nominations snub Kearney

IRELAND'S Rob Kearney has missed out on the IRB World Player of the Year nominations, writes Des Berry.

The current European Player of the Year and Ireland Player of the Year has been beaten to the punch by All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, France's Frederic Michalak and, amazingly, Owen Farrell. There is a sense of ridiculousness about the nomination of Saracen Farrell as he is not even first choice for England.

Three-time winner Richie McCaw in 2006, 2009 and 2010 must be the heavy favourite given his awesome form for the All Blacks through the season.

He became the first player to win 100 Test matches and has the most Test wins as captain to a Kiwi squad rated by many as the best of modern times.

Murray set to miss Warriors

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray will probably miss out on Munster's PRO12 League tie against Glasgow Warriors on Saturday with what coach Rob Penney calls "a wee knee niggle".

Back row international Peter O'Mahony was another to sit out training in Limerick yesterday as Penney looks to fast track his Ireland contingent back into action against The Warriors.

Ronan O'Gara, Simon Zebo, Keith Earls, Dave Kilcoyne, Donncha O'Callaghan and Donnacha Ryan were all engaged in the session and loose forwards Tommy O'Donnell and James Coughlan are also expected to return from injury.

Carter back to face England

Fly-half Dan Carter has recovered from a calf injury and will start for New Zealand in their final test of the year against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Carter, the standout fly-half in world rugby, missed the 33-10 victory over Six Nations champions Wales in Cardiff on Saturday but returns for the World Cup winners, with deputy Aaron Cruden dropping to the bench.

The change was one of three made by coach Steve Hansen, with Brodie Retallick and Keven Mealamu coming into the side.

Retallick is preferred in the second row over Luke Romano, while Mealamu was named at hooker in place of Andrew Hore, banned for five weeks for striking Welsh lock Bradley Davies.