Conor Murray is expected to be fit for Ireland’s opening RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy on Saturday.

The IRFU confirmed the news about the Munster scrum-half, who suffered a neck injury and missed the last two Champions Cup matches, as it announced a reduced 38-man squad for the first two games of the tournament.

Leinster trio Jack Conan, Michael Bent and Noel Reid return to the province after featuring for the Wolfhounds on Friday. Fergus McFadden has a rib cartilage injury, while Craig Gilroy suffered a concussion during the Saxons game. Rob Herring also returns to Ulster.

Dave Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald are expected to be fully fit to train in preparation for Italy, while Eoin Reddan and Jamie Heaslip are progressing well and are likely to be available to train fully on Tuesday.

Mike McCarthy suffered a concussion during the Wolfhounds game and will stay with the squad while completing the return-to-play protocols. Cian Healy continues to make very promising progress following his hamstring injury.

Ireland Squad (Rounds 1 & 2)

Forwards (20)
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Nathan White (Galwegians/Connacht)*

Backs (18)
Isaac Boss (Terenure/Leinster)
Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)