'I don't know if this is an Irish trick - All Blacks boss jokes about Murray injury ahead of Ireland clash
All Blacks boss Steve Hansen joked that he doesn't know if Conor Murray's recent injury is 'an Irish trick' as the world champions prepare to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium next month.
Joe Schmidt's side could claim the world number one spot for the first time ever if they take down New Zealand, who travel to Dublin for a blockbuster autumn clash on November 17.
One key man who is set to miss out is Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray, who has been sidelined since the summer with a neck issue. The Munster nine is set to return to club action at the end of the November, which means that he will not be available for the visit of the All Blacks or any of the other upcoming internationals.
However, Ronan O'Gara recently stated that he still believes that Murray may feature against the back-to-back World Cup winners and when asked about the Lions star's omission after New Zealand's win over Australia yesterday, Hansen joked that he was unsure whether the 29-year-old would actually play or not.
"Look, I'm not sure about that," Hansen said, attempting an Irish accident.
"I don't know if Conor is really going to be out or if this is an Irish trick.
"Look, Conor’s a great player and it’s really disappointing for both Ireland and us that he’s not playing. When you play quality teams, you want all their players to be there.
"It’s called a test match for a reason and it’s about testing yourself so they’ll miss him but what a wonderful opportunity for somebody else to step up and play well for Ireland."
International Rugby Newsletter