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Conor Murray a concern for Rome trip as Joe Schmidt counts cost of European weekend

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Munster's Conor Murray

Munster's Conor Murray

SPORTSFILE

Munster's Conor Murray

JOE SCHMIDT assembled his Ireland squad at Carton House last night and has a number of injury headaches as he plots his Six Nations defence.

Dave Kearney looks set to be ruled out of the campaign with a shoulder problem, while Eoin Reddan's knee was also a victim of their profitable draw against Wasps on Saturday.

Keith Earls limped off after scoring Munster's second try against Sale Sharks yesterday, but Anthony Foley described the decision as precautionary after he hurt his groin.

Dave Foley is another concern after he injured his wrist and had to be replaced at half-time, but perhaps the biggest concern for the Ireland coach is Conor Murray who remains a doubt for the opening game against Italy on Saturday week.

The Lions scrum-half has not yet recovered from a neck disc injury and will be assessed by the Ireland medics in Maynooth.

"He still wasn't cleared medically. They re-scanned it and still weren't happy so we can't risk that," Anthony Foley said last night.

"It's hard to say because you are dealing with neurologists. They're the best in the business in the country. I'll leave that to the medical people."

As for Earls, who showed his class in an excellent display, Foley said Munster had done everything they could to prevent the injury from occurring in the minutes after half-time.

"You get a 15-minute half-time, you are doing everything to keep the lad warm particularly his groins," Foley said.

"He has come back after a long period out. We had the stationary bike working, he was cycling, trying to keep warm and went out into the second half and he felt his groins tighten up.

"To be honest our injury list is long enough we didn't want to add another one on to it, particularly Earlsy, he is a character around the squad and we want him in and around our squad as much as possible, not out of it. He was just precautionary. We felt if we kept him on any longer he might be an injury doubt.

"Dave Foley has a wrist problem. We need to get it further assessed. It was seriously disrupting his game in the first half so need to have a look at that, I'm sure."

Foley confirmed that new signing Tyler Bleyendaal would travel to Lanzarote with the rest of the squad having attended yesterday's win over Sale.

Denis Hurley's shoulder injury was not as bad as first feared, while Dave Kilcoyne is close to a return to fitness after damaging his knee and will begin contact training on the warm-weather camp which begins on Saturday.

Indo Sport


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