Sport Lions Tour

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Murray ready to prove his fitness for Lions to Gatland


Munster's Conor Murray. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Munster's Conor Murray. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Ruaidhri O'Connor​

Conor Murray insists that remaining on against Wales for 16 minutes after injuring his shoulder did not exacerbate the problem.

The Ireland star says he could return to action for Munster against Connacht this weekend after declaring himself fully recovered from the nerve damage he suffered almost two months ago in the Six Nations.

If he is not selected this weekend, he will play in the Guinness PRO12 semi-final in two weeks' time to prove his fitness for the Lions tour.

Joe Schmidt came in for some criticism for leaving his injured No 9 on the field, but Murray (pictured) is adamant no extra damage was done.

"No, not at all," he said. "People have asked me that and I've looked at the video to make sure - because I was sure - and there was nothing in the second half that suggested I got a bang on it and made it worse.

"It was all in that impact; the strength didn't come back in the second half and that's why I was taken off.

"But I didn't do any more damage.

"I was probably risking our team's chances with my passing, the strength just completely went out of my arm so it was right to take me off."

Murray is under pressure to prove his fitness after Lions coach Warren Gatland said he must play before the end of the season in order to make the tour, and he admitted he feared the worst.

"There was worry there: a nerve injury is not like a muscle injury where you're told you'll be back in four weeks and you're back in four, it's a bit of an unknown," he said.

"Thankfully my strength is back and I'm taking contact. I feel really good, ready to play. Hopefully I'll be involved potentially this weekend."​

Irish Independent

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