Munster coach Rassie Erasmus has said it is a pleasure to coach mercurial scrum-half Conor Murray.
The Ireland star had an incredible 2016 after being nominated for Six Nations Player of the Year. He was brilliant in Ireland’s three-Test tour to South Africa and instrumental in Ireland’s historic 40-29 victory over New Zealand in Chicago.
The former Cheetahs boss says that Murray is one the best nines in the world and even compared Murray to Springbok legend Fourie du Preez.
“Apart from the normal things that everybody sees, a great pass and a great box-kick, I think he’s a very physical player and I didn’t expect that when I came here,” Erasmus told the independent.ie.
“Most of those talented guys seem to hold the nice stuff well but he also seems to do the grafting stuff, the tackles, the breakdown ball, carrying and tackling big forwards. The physical side of things definitely impressed me.
“He’s almost always available, either for training sessions or matches … it’s not like he’s picking his matches like some guys I have coached before who were world-class and the best in their position in the world or contenders … they might be minding themselves a little bit more for their provinces.
“On and off the field for us, he’s a leader, and it’s a privilege to coach a guy like him.
“For the last seven or eight months, I haven’t focused on Australian or New Zealand teams, I can only compare Conor with guys I have coached before like Fourie du Preez and those kind of players and I think he’ll be right up there with them.
“For sheer potential and commitment and professionalism and size and speed and courage, I think he is right at his prime.”