Conor Murray – ‘It’s a massive week’

Date published: March 13 2018

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray says he is desperate to avoid England’s fate ahead of the sides’ Six Nations clash at Twickenham on Saturday.

It was Murray and company who denied England the Grand Slam last year and the scrum-half is desperate to avoid a role reversal this weekend.

“That’s something you don’t want to do,” Murray told the Irish Mirror.

“You want it to all go well and be full of joy at the end of the game.

“What happened with England was fantastic for us – the way they celebrated, the air was a little bit out of their tyres.

“That’s not something I’m thinking about. I’m not thinking about the trophy or the presentation. It’s about going over to Twickenham and putting in a performance that puts you in a position to win.

“The way we reacted on Saturday when we knew we had won it (the title), it shows a lot about the group. Everyone is back excited and ready to get stuck in.

“It’s a massive week – an exciting, challenging week. But a week you dream of.”

He added: “You don’t want to leave any stone unturned. You want it to all go well and celebrate a victory along with that.

“Because the trophy is there, that performance against England away is as big, if not bigger. Genuinely, that’s the way the group feels.

“There are going to be a lot distractions – a lot of people looking for tickets and all that kind of carry on. It’s about focusing on the rugby.

“And all that hype and distraction can take care of itself. We don’t need to worry about it.”

Murray says nothing will change in their preparation and they will treat the encounter as they would any other match.

“We’ll prepare as we always do,” said the 28-year-old.

“I think you’ve just got to ask lads, it’s in their heads – everyone knows what’s at the end of this week. It is a final.

“It might just add to the buzz, the excitement around the place, the nervous energy.

“We’re in a match week now. We’re very used to this.

“It’s just about dealing with the type of week this is.

“People have been talking about the Grand Slam since before the first game. All my friends and anyone I’ve spoken to has spoken about setting it up for Paddy’s Day.

“There’s enough intelligence in the room to know that we needed to look after those first four games week on week.

“It’s a hugely driven, determined group that we’re in and to win something like this was always in our minds.”

Murray was playing for the U20s when Ireland last won the Grand Slam in 2009 and remembers how he revered the seniors.

“You look back to all the big Ireland victories when you were younger, looking on the telly or in the stands, and it just drives your desire to want to be there,” Murray explained.

“And that’s probably what feeds a lot of us from when we were younger, seeing it and wanting to achieve it – and putting the work in for it – seeing those great days.

“And then when you get in and you chat to the lads, like Rob (Kearney) and Rory (Best) and a few of the lads who have gone from Ireland now.

“Chatting to them about it, they’re special days and you create a bond for life with the people you do it with.

“So yeah, it was massive. Massively inspirational.”


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