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Van Graan hints that Conor Murray may be given a run-out next weekend

Lions scrum-half has not played for Munster so far this season.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

JOHANN VAN GRAAN has said he will consider using Conor Murray this weekend against Ospreys, the last game of this block of URC fixtures.

Murray has not featured since the end of the Lions’ tour to South Africa. Although not injured, he has been purposely rested as last season’s campaign – 13 months in length – was the longest of his career.

“We’ll see how the week goes,” van Graan said of his scrum-half. “We’ve taken our time with his recovery, so if he comes through the week then we’ll make a call at the back end of the week whether we’re going to select him or not.

“He had non-23 training on Friday so really looking forward to getting him involved.”

Van Graan praised his team’s character following Saturday’s 20-18 win over Connacht, as they came from behind on three separate occasions to eke out a controversial win.

“I think if you look at the table, it’s three Irish teams at the top. Connacht are always such a big team in the interpros and you’ve got to give credit to them. Last season they beat all three of the Irish teams away.

“That’s why the players and the coaches and the supporters, and everybody involved loves an interpro, because that’s what you get. It’s not a classic but for the purist it’s a battle.

“That’s what the game is about and that’s why Irish rugby is in such a good place because they have got four top teams and some very good players across the four teams. That was a grind from our side, and proud of the way we finished that with that try and the conversion.”

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The coach backed Joey Carbery, his out-half who scored the winning conversion, just nine minutes after his clearance kick was blocked down by Jack Carty, nearly resulting in a Connacht victory.

“Joey is a world-class player,” Van Graan said. “He’s made one or two errors and has had some big moments. He’s one of our four 10s and we are rotating heavily.

“Last week, we had Ben Healy and Jack (Crowley), and this week we had Joey Carbery and Jake Flannery and we are going to continue to give everybody game-time, specifically in this block.

“The positive thing is he kicked that conversion, not only for him but for the team.”

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Garry Doyle

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