Joe Schmidt says Conor Murray could feature against New Zealand next Saturday.

The scrum-half has not played this season due to a neck injury but could be in line for a dramatic return against the world champions.

"I'm going to chat to Conor and see how he is," said the Ireland head coach when asked if the Munster man could return.

"It will really be Conor's call, so I can't answer that until I've chatted to him."

Schmidt, who didn't name Murray in his original 42-man squad, later said that it was "highly unlikely" that the 29-year-old would play.

"[Not naming him] was really to take the pressure off him," added Schmidt after their 28-17 win over Argentina.

"There was no compulsion to push himself forward or to come out and try to force himself into the frame, unless he's super comfortable.

"Because we've got three guys doing a good job.

"The window of opportunity for us is fantastic for those guys to demonstrate they can do a good job at the level.

"But Conor has that incredible capacity to exit us well, give us the free-flow and whip out a pass that makes him a world-class player.

"So those other guys are building towards that, and the best way to towards that is in the cauldron of Test match pressure.

"It's not the injury it's really just how ready Conor is. How fully fit he is because the injury itself has gone really well.

"So it is tough to come back into a game of that magnitude though.

"It is highly unlikely he will be involved, but as I said, I will talk to him."