By Brendan O'Brien
Rob Kearney has been rated as 50-50 to feature for Ireland in this Saturday's test against Argentina at the Aviva Stadium.
The Leinster full-back has been recovering from a shoulder injury suffered playing for his province against Benetton almost two weeks ago and is clearly in a race against time to make it this weekend, according to scrum coach Greg Feek.
“Rob was working with the physios today,” said Feek at team HQ. “We will see how he goes but it is just a case of getting there. We will have our reviews this afternoon and see how he comes that. We will wait and see how he comes through. He was doing stuff with the medics and is on his return (to play).
“Hopefully things will progress for him. Rob Kearney is Rob Kearney, he’s a good man to have in the team, offers a lot of experience. In saying that we have good depth in the squad. This series is all about that, testing our depth in the squad, making sure that people can slot in and things can carry on.”
Conor Murray, who took part in training with the Ireland squad in Kildare last week, is not in camp this time around. It still remains to be seen if the Munster scrum-half – who hasn't played since June – will be fit to feature against New Zealand next week.
“Again it's another one that we're just monitoring and I'm still getting up to speed with all that as well,” said Feek. “It's something that obviously not being here this week, they're freshening him up, and it is just trying to tick some boxes to get back in the frame.
“We already have three half-backs there so there's no point in carrying one more.”
Dan Leavy, Sam Arnold and John Ryan, all of whom had been named in the initial November squad but who were in South Africa at the weekend with their provinces, had yet to report back to nation camp as of Monday lunchtime suggesting they will also be onlookers at the weekend.