Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan On His Main Man For This Weekend


Munster head coach Johann van Grann has hailed “incredible” Conor Murray as his main man ahead of this weekend’s crucial Champions Cup semi-final clash with Racing 92 in Bordeaux.

Murray came off the bench to inspire Munster to victory over the Cheetahs this past weekend, scoring an instant try and kicking a monster 59m penalty to snatch victory for the southern province in Bloemfontein.

The talented nine was injured when Munster took on Saracens in last year’s semi-final, and his absence was hugely felt as the Irish province were dumped out at the Aviva. But the man who “delivers every single week” is fit and raring to go this weekend.

“I’ve always thought he was a great player,” said Munster head coach Johann van Graan

“He just delivers every single week. There was never any doubt when I came here. When South Africa played against him, we knew what a quality player he is.

“He’s just incredible. I think his biggest asset is maybe his decision-making, he seems to make them in slow motion and he seems to make the right one time after time.

“Also, when he’s on the field he brings a lot of calm to the team and I thought he did really well when he came off the bench at the weekend.”

Murray has been targeted by opposition sides in recent years, such is his importance to Munster. But van Graan says it’s normal. He says “every team in the world will give him special attention,” but Murray and Munster will be prepared for it.

“I think your whole team have to be aware of the opposition nine and 10,” says van Graan.

“I guess the opposition will be aware of Conor as well.

“I think Keats [Ian Keatley] also poses quite a threat to the gainline. If Rory Scannell and JJ Hanrahan and Zeebs [Simon Zebo] come into second receiver, we are posing different questions on attack.

“Obviously, Conor will be a man-marked by the opposition but that’s not new to him. Every team in the world will give him special attention.

“Like I said, it doesn’t seem to faze him. He’s just one of our players and he poses a threat and, hopefully, he’ll have a good game on Sunday.”

“With Conor, he’s got such a wide array of skills,

“It’s not only his running, or his kicking, or his passing game; it’s his decision-making.

“He seems to produce week in and week out. When he came on to the field and scored that try [against the Cheetahs], he’s a threat everywhere. You use your world-class players as best you can.”

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