Monday 26 September 2016

Conor Murray: I want to stay at Munster​ and win European silverware

Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30

Munster's Conor Murray and Simon Zebo in conversation during squad training. Munster Rugby Squad Training & Press Conference. Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Munster's Conor Murray and Simon Zebo in conversation during squad training. Munster Rugby Squad Training & Press Conference. Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Munster have received a much-needed lift with news that Conor Murray intends to commit his future to his home province.

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The Ireland and Lions scrum-half has begun negotiations with IRFU performance director David Nucifora and hopes to have a deal done in the next few weeks. The new contract is set to make 26-year-old, a contender for the vacant Ireland captaincy, one of the union’s best-paid players.

“Negotiations have started and it’s something you don’t want to be thinking about for these big weeks, so it’s been put on the back-burner,” said Murray.

“I don’t see too many problems. I love playing here in Ireland and I want to continue doing that so

. . . it’s not done yet, but hopefully it will be. That’s ideally what I’d like to do and I make no bones about it. This is a great club, a great set-up, it’s my home. It’s almost a no-brainer, I’d love to continue playing here.”

Already, CJ Stander and Tommy O’Donnell have committed to Munster and, when Murray signs, it will leave Keith Earls, James Cronin and Simon Zebo as their big names still to commit. Zebo is considered the biggest flight risk.

Murray grew up watching Munster win trophies, but the 2011 Celtic League is his only medal for the province, and the desire to win silverware in red is one of the reasons he wants to stay.

“That’s probably a big factor. With Munster in Europe for the last three or four years, we haven’t done too much. I want to be part of some Munster team that does something.”

Meanwhile, Sean O’Brien could return to action during the Christmas period. The flanker has been out with an inner-ear problem since last month’s loss to Wasps. He has passed his concussion protocols.

Cian Healy has been cited for allegedly striking Guilhem Guirado with his knee in the incident that saw him sent to the sin-bin in Leinster’s defeat to Toulon. The prop could face at least three weeks on the sidelines if found guilty tomorrow.

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