Steve Hansen – ‘Conor Murray Will Play For Ireland On Saturday’

He’ll play.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is fully convinced Conor Murray will be fit and ready to play against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Murray is yet to play this season because of a neck problem, having last played for Ireland back in June against Australia. Joe Schmidt says the decision is in Murray’s hands on whether or not he plays this weekend, but Hansen says his side are already preparing for him.

“I’m assuming Conor Murray will play, so they’ve got a good spine,” said Hansen yesterday

“He and Sexton are two of the best players in the world so they’ll drive them around the park.”

“Big players get up, and if they think they’re right to play, then let them play. They’re competitors and Conor Murray is a real competitor, so if he says he’s right to play, he’ll be right to play.”

Hansen denied having any inside information, but insisted he is convinced Murray will play next Saturday.

“I believe Murray will play,” said Hansen.

“I just think he’ll play. I’m not saying that to stir any trouble, I just think he’s a real competitor, he’ll want to play and if he’s got a chance, I reckon he will play.”

“If that’s one of our guys in the same boat, they’d be putting their hand up to play.”