Conor Murray has revealed the ‘crazy’ rumours that he had failed a drugs test were tough to hear.

The Ireland scrum-half didn't play in almost five months due to a neck complaint.

Murray decided to keep the exact nature of the injury under wraps, leading to rumours that he had failed a drugs test or that he was facing retirement.

"The toughest part of this was the outside rumours that my friends and family would hear," he said, speaking at a motivational talk given recently to members of Limerick’s defence forces - as reported by the Limerick Leader.

"Crazy stuff that I’d failed all sorts of drugs tests and they were just keeping it under wraps and letting me serve my ban. That kind of hurt a little bit," he said.

Murray made his Munster return during the run of three inter-provincial games over the festive period and is set to take his place in the Ireland team for the Six Nations, having missed the win over New Zealand last year.

He also spoke about rumours about his imminent retirement, saying: "They were guessing what was wrong, and thinking I’m going to have to retire.

"It’s not nice hearing it for yourself, but then your family don’t really know either. They are seeing second hand information. It’s quite tough."

Murray starts at scrum-half for Munster in their crunch Heineken Champions Cup clash with Gloucester in Kingsholm on Friday night.

Follow Gloucester v Munster on Friday (KO 7.45pm) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the News Now App, or listen live on RTÉ Radio 2fm, with commentary from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan.