Conor Murray On The Nickname He’s Already Trying To Shake After Being Named Lions Captain

Skipper.

British and Irish Lions tour captain, Conor Murray was up for media duties today after the squad landed in in South Africa last night ahead of their three-Test series with the world champion Springboks.

The Limerick man was named as Alun Wyn Jones’ successor on Saturday after the Welshman was forced to pull out of the tour with an unfortunate shoulder injury picked up in the win over Japan at Murrayfield.

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The players within the squad have reacted positively to the news with many of them having nothing but good things to say about the Patrickswell native who is on his third successive tour with the Lions.

But being the new captain has its downfalls, with Murray already picking up an unfortunate tongue-in-cheek nickname.

“Yeah, unfortunately,” Murray said when asked if the squad is treating him any different after being named tour captain.

“They don’t call me by name anymore. It’s ‘Skips’ for the moment. So I’m trying to get rid of that one!”

As for the last couple of days with everything that has gone on, Murray described the series of events as simply “crazy.”

“It’s been a crazy couple of days really,” Murray told us.

“Firstly, during the game when we saw Alun going off holding his arm and shoulder, you kind of feared for the worst and unfortunately that came true.

“Losing Justin Tipuric as well, the mood in the camp was a bit sombre. Obviously the lads were delighted to get up and running, especially the debutants getting a run-out and a win was a massive positive. But there was sadness lingering because of the two boys.

“It was a strange atmosphere. Warren came up to me before we had our caps ceremony and asked me did I want to take over as tour captain. A massive honour.

“I answered straightaway, ‘Yes, it would be brilliant.’ I think I’ve answered quite quickly because I know quite a few lads in the group and the new set-up is really strong, we’re tight already.

“People are leading as players already themselves. Hopefully it’s something we can lead into smoothly and carry on from where Alun left us.”

Hopefully things will start to run a bit smoother from here on in as the Lions get set for their first match on tour against the Emirates Lions this weekend.