Murray an injury doubt for Munster’s Euro showdown

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Munster scrum-half Conor Murray is to have a scan on his injured neck ahead of Saturday's European Champions Cup clash with Saracens at Allianz Park, 1pm
MUNSTER are sweating on the fitness of scrum-half, Conor Murray ahead of Saturday’s make-or-break European Champions Cup clash with Saracens at Allianz Park, 1pm.

MUNSTER are sweating on the fitness of scrum-half, Conor Murray ahead of Saturday’s make-or-break European Champions Cup clash with Saracens at Allianz Park, 1pm.

Irish scrum-half Murray had a scan on a neck injury he picked up in the weekend Guinness PRO12 victory over Zebre.

Murray picked up the injury while scoring a try in the bonus point win in Italy.

Munster head coach, Anthony Foley said: “He (Conor) didn’t train today (Tuesday) he took part in some organisational stuff but didn’t train. We’re getting the scan read, we’ll know later. We need to make sure he’s functional.”

Munster’s talismanic second row and Ireland captain Paul O’Connell re-iterated his plans to retire from playing either after next autumn’s World Cup or in the summer of 2016.

Munster must plan without back-row forward Robin Copeland and prop Dave Kilcoyne for Saturday’s game against Saracens due to injury.

Third-placed Munster currently trail Pool 1 table toppers Clermont Auvergne by four points and second-placed Saracens by three points.

Foley’s charges must beat Aviva Premiership high flyers Sarries this weekend and Sale Sharks in their final pool fixture at Thomond Park on Sunday week to maintain their hopes of making the knock-out stages of the competition for the 15th time in 16 seasons.

While winger Keith Earls and prop James Cronin made their comeback from injury off the bench in the weekend win over Zebre, Foley said it was too early to say whether both players would be ready to start this weekend’s do-or-die clash. Earls was making his first appearance of the season for Munster after undergoing knee surgery in the autumn.

Foley said: “What you have to look at is what the weekend took out of them, they obviously trained today fully and we need to see how they rock up tomorrow (Wednesday) so we can make an assessment on them.”

Foley insisted Munster’s unmatched record in reaching European Cup quarter-finals would not be mentioned in their pre-match preparations.

Foley said: “If we lose we are basically out, we understand that and we need to go about our job as if we are playing a knock-out game, the same as if you have any sense of imagination when we were young fellas playing schools cup matches ‘this is it, there is no tomorrow’.”

Saturday’s game will be shown live on BT Sports.