Conor Murray New Contract
The news that Conor Murray has signed a new deal to take him beyond his original deal which ended in 2019 will be greeted by all Irish rugby supporters with relief because you can be sure some of the French heavy hitters along with some English sides may have been circling with the end of his current contract coming up.
Conor made his Munster debut in 2010 and made his Ireland debut against France before the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. He has developed into one of the World’s best 9’s in the game along with Aaron Smith and Will Genia. His has travelled on two Lions tours in 2013 and 2017, becoming a Test Lion in 2013 and then starting all three Tests in 2017 against New Zealand in the drawn Series.
He has 67 caps for Ireland since 2011, winning Three Six Nations crowns in 2014, 2015 and a Grand Slam in 2018. He also has a Magners League Winners medal with Munster from 2011 when they defeated Leinster in the Final in Limerick.
The continuing question of who is the World’s best 9 will continue but Murray’s consistent performances in green and red have surely brought him close to surpassing Aaron Smith in recent years. He has also the added edge that he can goal kick and has done this for Munster to good success and more latterly for Ireland on the odd occasion.
From a Munster perspective, this news is a much needed boost in the week leading into the opening Heineken Champions Cup game away at Exeter. Although Murray won’t be involved in the match day 23 due to injury, he will help out the other fit 9s in the squad with the execution of the Munster game plan whatever that may be.
The impetus will now be on Munster to introduce some young blood into the scrum half position to learn off Murray from now until 2022. Jack Stafford who may get game time this weekend depending on selection is the current Munster academy 9 and will be working overtime this week to help his chances of gaining selection for this game.
Denis Hurley was 21 when he was introduced to the Munster faithful back in 2008 in Gloucester in the Heineken Cup quarter final in Kingsholm. Munster won that day helped by Hurley, a try by Doug Howlett and some wayward kicking by the usually reliable Chris Paterson. So Munster have trust young guys before and you can be sure they may do so again , it didn’t end too badly that day in 08 did it ??
The good news of this announcement may help to give the players a boost heading for Sandy Park this weekend, Munster beginning a 23rd campaign in Europe’s premier competition , roll on Saturday at 3.15pm live on BT Sport.