Conor Murray on his superb form, playing with Sexton and talk of the Lions captaincy
Conor Murray on his superb form, playing with Sexton and talk of the Lions captaincy

Conor Murray on his superb form, playing with Sexton and talk of the Lions captaincy

CONOR MURRAY SPEAKS with as much confidence and clarity as he does when pulling the strings on the pitch; he’s a pleasure to watch when in full flow and, in this instance, a pleasure to listen to.

Murray enjoying himself at squad training this morning. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

It is, of course, a lot easier to talk when things are going well and things are certainly going well for Murray at the moment.

He has arguably been Ireland’s standout performer of the Six Nations so far and his name is even being mentioned as a possible candidate for the Lions captaincy this summer.

“I just try and do as good a job as I can for my team and the aim is to play well personally,” he says. “I’m happy with where my game is at the moment and how I’m contributing to the team.”

Murray is a key component of that team and is an extraordinarily influential player for Joe Schmidt and Ireland. At this stage, there are no more superlatives to describe him.

“You’re only as good as your last game so this weekend is going to be completely different and really challenging,” Murray adds.

His performances have been as consistent as they have been impressive with Murray so often pulling the strings and marshalling the green shirts while capping his display against France with a crucial score.

It was that performance, alongside the returning Johnny Sexton, which particularly caught the eye and he admits having the Leinster man outside him at out-half takes a bit of pressure off.

“To have a player of Johnny’s calibre outside you puts you at ease a little bit for sure but you just try and do as well as you can,” he admits.

Murray on media duty earlier at Carton House. Source: Marcus Sheridan/INPHO

“There’s a lot to playing nine and there’s a lot to playing 10 and there’s a big difference between them so there’s a lot of things I’ve to do with my forwards and other backs around me that takes a lot of time and effort in training to get right.

“As I said, he’s a world class player and having that assurance and confidence — he’s been there and done it so many times — so when he steps into the fold it takes a bit of pressure off you.”

With all that comes talk and as Murray prepares to come up against another potential Lions nine in Rhys Webb this Friday, there will be an added spotlight on the scrum-half battle in Cardiff.

“I’m aware of it [the talk], Rhys is a great player and he’s playing really well at the minute,” the 27-year-old says.

“He was really good against Scotland but it doesn’t change what I want to do for my team so I’m just focused on playing for Ireland and doing a good a job as I can and that kind of talk is for other people.

Murray and Sexton will look to continue their partnership in Cardiff this Friday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

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