Triple Fitness Boost For Ireland Ahead Of All Blacks Test

Joe Schmidt has brought huge success to the Irish rugby team

Joe Schmidt has brought huge success to the Irish rugby team

However, Schmidt, who has a huge call to make as to whether to bring in world class scrum-half Conor Murray without any game time under his belt, is trying to play down the importance of the match. "From our point of view we've been penalised a lot by him in the past, more so than any other ref so we really need to be wary of our own discipline this week".

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen has previously joked it could have been an "Irish trick" to leave Murray out of the autumn squad, given the Munster star has already been back in training.

Jonathan Sexton says he and his Ireland team-mates want to make more history with a home win over world champions New Zealand in a clash of the top two-ranked teams in the world on Saturday.

Conor Murray in action for Ireland during the 2018 Six Nations.

"There was no compulsion to push himself forward or to come out and try to force himself into the frame, unless he's super comfortable". "Everyone seems to find another 10 percent when they play us because it is a good story if you can beat the All Blacks and everyone gets excited by that".

"We shouldn't really be giving them to Kiwis anyway, because we want to get as much green in there, as much volume supporting us as possible".

"Because the injury itself has gone really well". "It would have been silly to have passed up the opportunity offered by England, but I am Scottish through and through and am delighted to get this opportunity", said the 26-year old Graham.

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Kieran Marmion looks set to be retained in the Ireland team to face the All Blacks on Saturday at the Aviva.

"We're hopeful because we didn't try to push him". The record stands at two wins, one draw and eight losses.

"A little bit of everything, wasn't there?" he said. "But we'd be relatively confident he'd be okay".

Gritty Leinster flanker O'Brien has battled serious shoulder and knee issues in the previous year, and now faces possibly at least six more weeks on the sidelines.

Head coach Schmidt admitted his relief at having two quality opensides in Dan Leavy and Josh van der Flier waiting in the wings to fill the sizeable chasm left by O'Brien's latest injury absence.

"Sean's gutted, I'm gutted for him and the team are too", said Schmidt. "I just think he'll play".

With Murray not named in Ireland's November Tests squad, Luke McGrath started Ireland's win over Italy in Chicago two weekends ago, while Kieran Marmion was in the nine shirt yesterday versus Argentina.

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