Rugby star Conor Murray on playing internationally‘There’s an attraction there, obviously’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Ireland and Munster scrum-half Conor Murray joined Ray on The Ray D’Arcy Show to talk about the game, his former team-mate Simon Zebo’s move to France and his memories of Anthony “Axel” Foley.

Ray was curious whether Conor feels his height (of 6 feet 2 inches) has been a disadvantage as a scrum-half. While Conor thinks that he is certainly an “exception to the rule” in that sense, as scrum-halfs are generally shorter and smaller, ultimately “if you’re good enough, you get to play”. It’s true he had to prove himself initially, though.

“People used to slag me when I was starting off as scrum-half. They were like ‘You’re way too tall, it’ll take you forever to get the ball outlike. You’ll never get rid of it.”

Conor cites former Munster Head Coach Anthony “Axel” Foley as a big influence on his career. He described the difficult time the Munster team experienced shortly after Axel’s death to Ray.

“We buried Axel on the Friday and played Glasgow on the Saturday…obviously a bit of a blur…I think being able to play was actually an easier way to deal with it than not being able to play…There was no way we were gonna lose…you absolutely could not lose that game.”

Ray put it to Conor that Simon Zebo announcing his move to France this week could have been a factor in him not being named on the Ireland squad. Does Conor think Zebo would have been chosen otherwise?

“I would imagine so...I see Zeebs point of view…and I see Joe [Schmidt] and the IRFU’s point of view...Their point of view is probably, you know, we’re two years out from a World Cup and there’s a lot of young people, young players who are putting their hands up and they’re going to be playing in Ireland and they’re putting their hand up and they deserve a chance.”

Ray wanted to know if Conor would ever be tempted to make a similar move.

“There’s an attraction there, obviously...The attraction is lifestyle. The attraction is, for certain players, probably more money…We’re in a bubble here and maybe people get pressurised in the bubble and want to get out of it but for me, personally, I’m really happy here…I’m signed until the end of the world cup.

Listen to back to the full interview with Conor Murray on The Ray D’Arcy Show here.

© The Listener 2017

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