Saturday 21 September 2019

Shane Horgan: Conor Murray is an 'outstanding candidate' to captain Lions

Munster's Conor Murray Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster's Conor Murray Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Former Ireland centre Shane Horgan has tipped Conor Murray as a candidate to captain the Lions in New Zealand next year.

"He will be a first-choice, he is really enjoying his rugby at the moment and he is an outstanding candidate in my view," said Horgan, who toured when the Lions last visited New Zealand in 2005.

Meanwhile, Lions and Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell believes the introduction of bonus points to the Six Nations this season could boost the Lions' hopes of a first series win in New Zealand since 1971.

The Six Nations confirmed last month that a new scoring system would be trialled for the next three years with four points for a win and an extra point for scoring four tries or more.

Losing teams will also claim a point if the margin of their defeat is seven points or fewer and Farrell believes that the attacking approach that should ensue will help the Lions against the world champions.


"We have been in front against New Zealand with teams I have been involved with and they are masters at the comeback, staying calm and being clinical," said Farrell, who has helped England and Ireland beat the All Blacks.

"The way to score that bonus-point try is exactly like that, staying calm, being clinical, not being frantic, and going about your job as you should do rather than being too emotional.

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"It will create excitement as it goes, you'll know what you need to do along the way, but you still won't get away from the fact that you need to win.

"It is good for us because we want to play a good attacking style of rugby in Ireland, we have shown that with the tries we have scored of late. I believe it is going to be good for us, but everyone knows that you have to score points against New Zealand.

"The overriding thing for me was that when we played them again the second time they became a bit of a different beast."

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