Murray affirms trust in Best

Date published: January 30 2016

Ireland will look to defend their Six Nations title when they host Wales at the Aviva Stadium in the forthcoming week.

Scrum-half Connor Murray has said that the change in captaincy will be an easy transition for the champions.

Coach Joe Schmidt recently revealed that the players have voted Rory Best in as their new leader for the season, replacing legendary lock Paul O'Connell.  

"It's a little bit different now with Paulie's voice missing but Bestie was one of those voices for as long as I've been involved with Ireland. So he's just taken a bit more of a step-up vocally and is leading the team," Murray told the Irish Times.

"The likes of Jamie [Heaslip], Johnny [Sexton], Seánie [O’Brien] are still there and we've all done it together before and we have a good understanding of each other.

"Paulie is a big part of our chain that's missing but that's the challenge, you can't say it's perfect now; we're going to find out in the next few weeks whether we've done well getting on without him.

"I'm fully confident that we can but the proof will be in the pudding."

The 29-year old Murray confirmed earlier in the week that he has signed a new three-year central contract.

He believes that the central contracting system keeps all parties involved happy.

"I think we're well looked after here, and then off the pitch the set up we have, if we're talking internationally, it's brilliant," added Murray.

"Especially with an IRFU contract, your game time is managed really, really well and the provinces respect that and get on with it.

"I love the system, I love the set up, Ireland has been brilliant over the last couple of seasons and I want to continue to be part of that. Munster? I truly believe there’s something there to build on, and with Earlsy [Keith Earls] signing on now, it’s a boost for us; it's great, so I want to stay around."