Warren Gatland reveals Conor Murray played through an all too common rugby injury
Conor Murray was referred to as world-class or one of the best three scrum-halves currently playing the game. You'll find no argument about either statement here.
The Munster scrum-half needed to re-assert himself as the Aplha dog in the Lions squad after missing the first two tour games. Against Crusaders, he did just that.
Murray's kicking game was superb and he did a lot of excellent work around the fringes, as well as sparking a couple of counter-attacks and tackling feverishly. His passing was, for the most part, back to its sharpest but there were a couple slung to his left that were a concern.
All Blacks legend Justin Marshall called him 'pure class' and there were a host of former players lining up to add their praise.
Murray played all 82 minutes of the 12-3 victory as Wales' Rhys Webb was left on the bench. The feat in itself was impressive, given the intensity and pace on the Crusaders game, but all the more so after Lions coach Warren Gatland revealed Murray played on through an all too common rugby injury.
At his Sunday press briefing - after naming his matchday squad to face Highlanders - Gatland said:
"Conor Murray dislocated his finger, so he won’t take a full part in training tomorrow."
Gatland is confident that Murray will return to training later in the week, ahead of Saturday's game against the Maori All Blacks.
Finger dislocations hurt like hell at the time but players often continue if the finger is re-set properly. His hand may require some protective strapping in the days ahead.
Gatland also had updates on two players that went off for Head Injury Assessments - Stuart Hogg [see clip below] and Jonathan Davies.
Gatland said, "Jon Davies is symptom free which is good. We are having a specialist look at Stuart Hogg’s cheek to see how serious that is. We are hoping he will be okay but it needs someone more qualified than me to look at it."
Episode 46 of The Hard Yards rugby podcast features an interview with former Ulster & All Blacks star John Afoa, while Wasps centre Brendan Macken joins Andy and Pat to talk Champions Cup and Ireland.
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