Conor Murray – “This Group Has Been Through An Awful Lot Together”
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A lot can can change in a few short months – just ask Ireland. From slaying the world champions in your backyard, to having your oldest enemy come for a visit and give you a beatdown. Sport can change pretty quickly.
But this isn’t the first time this current group of Irish players have had a fall from grace. And it won’t be the last time. It’s how they pick themselves back up that matter. And it starts here.
Joe Schmidt put his men through the ringer at the Sportsground yesterday in glaring heat, but Conor Murray still came out to speak to us with a smile on his face, and a positive energy that filled the room.
This year’s Six Nations is in the rearview mirror. It’s time to look dead straight ahead, with a trip to Japan to take on the world’s very best only a matter of weeks away.
“I think we’re a really honest group and we learn from our mistakes pretty quickly.” Murray told us.
“If you look at over the last couple of seasons. This group has been really successful, we’ll realise what didn’t work in the previous Six Nations but I think we’ve ironed those creases out already. After each game that didn’t go to plan, we recognised that, we’ve reviewed it and sorted it out.”
“This group has an awful lot more positive performances to draw on than the few bad ones in the Six Nations just gone. Overall, it’s been really positive and there’s a fresh feeling amongst the group coming back here getting down to work and I think everyone from players, coaching staff and outside staff is aware of what this group is capable of.”
“I don’t think we’re going to be painted or reviewed based on that Six Nations. I think this group has been through an awful lot together. Six Nations titles, massive wins against southern hemisphere opposition to kind of rely on. We know it’s there, it’s just about getting the best out of ourselves.”
But is there now more pressure on Ireland to make sure their warm-up games go to plan? The men in green will have a huge opportunity to right some wrongs when they take on Wales and England – the two teams that defeated them in the Six Nations this year.
“In terms of last year? I don’t think that’s going to be there in our heads. Maybe the outside will talk about that a lot more than we will. This is a World Cup, it’s a massive stage and you want to go there in the best condition possible.” Murray added
“The warm-up games are going to be a mixture of people getting match fitness, getting into form, people putting their hands up for selection, combinations work. So there’s an awful lot of different angles you can look at these warm-up games but really, you have four games and you want to get up to speed with your near enough strongest team come the end of those four games and be able to fly out to Japan knowing that you know combinations and there’s a bit of rhythm to what’s going out within the squad.”
Canterbury and the IRFU have unveiled the new Irish Rugby World Cup 2019 team and supporter range. Headlined by a jersey like no other incorporating advanced technology and cutting-edge design, the range will be worn by the Ireland Rugby team in Japan as the team competes on the world stage.