Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray will be fit to face England in Dublin this weekend, despite suffering a shoulder injury in the defeat to Wales on Friday night.
Murray, 27, sustained the stinger to his left shoulder in the 29th minute of the Six Nations clash in Cardiff when tackling Wales wing George North and played on for a further 16 minutes either side of half-time before being withdrawn having being given every chance.
The risks finally outweighed the reward of keeping a player so integral to Ireland’s success in the 45th minute and team manager Paul Dean said yesterday Murray had responded well to treatment since Friday night and had not required any scans or x-rays.
“Conor is fine, he’s available. He’s fine. Unfortunately, a stinger injury is a peculiar injury, it’s kind of a numbness that happens on the pitch. You recover quite quickly, all going well.
“Iain Henderson had a bad one against France but he recovered very, very quickly and he was able to stay.
“With Conor, he’s such a very, very good player, we gave Conor as much of an opportunity as we could to recover from the stinger but as you all saw, he didn’t recover completely and we had to take him off. But he’s fine for the weekend.”
As to the charge Ireland had kept Murray on the pitch for longer than was prudent, Dean replied: “Well, you have to give the player every opportunity to continue and Conor is such a good guy, such a valuable asset to us, we needed to allow him to stay on as long as possible to try to overcome it.
"As it happened, he wasn’t comfortable enough to continue so the best thing to do was to take him off.”
Murray looks set to once again partner Johnny Sexton this weekend after the fly-half was also cleared to play having come through parts one, two and three of the Head Injury Assessment which began in the first half against Wales, when he was caught in the face with the thigh of Jonathan Davies.
“He has a black eye which is not his best look, other than that he should be fine,” Dean said.
Tommy Bowe is less fortunate. The Ulster wing came on as a 79th-minute replacement and did not finish the game having suffered a suspected fracture of his left leg. Leinster’s Fergus McFadden has been called into camp as his replacement.
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