Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray will not recover from a neck injury in time for their Test against the All Blacks in Dublin on Saturday.
Murray has not played since the three-Test series against Australia in June and although coach Joe Schmidt flirted with the idea that he may play this weekend it has since become clear the British & Irish Lion will not regain fitness in time.
Ireland have rotated Luke McGrath and Keiran Marmion as the starting No 9 in the Tests against Italy and Argentina respectively. Both scored against Argentina so it remains to be seen who Schmidt will opt for in their crucial clash on Saturday.
Schmidt received further bad news when it was revealed that centre Robbie Henshaw will also not be fit for action this weekend after hobbling off in the warm-up for the Argentina match.
Garry Ringrose is favourite to partner Bundee Aki in midfield should he recover from the minor injury that kept him out last Saturday.
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