Wednesday 24 July 2019

'He was young and foolish. He paid the price for it' - Conor Murray and Peter O'Mahony stand by Gerbrandt Grobler

30 October 2017; Gerbrandt Grobler of Munster trains separate from team-mates during Munster Rugby Squad Training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
30 October 2017; Gerbrandt Grobler of Munster trains separate from team-mates during Munster Rugby Squad Training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Munster and Ireland stars Peter O'Mahony and Conor Murray have defended team-mate Gerbrandt Grobler, after the South African's place in the squad has come under scrutiny over his previous two-year ban for testing positive for steroids.

Grobler signed for the province last summer, but after returning to fitness last week, the issue of whether Munster were correct to offer an ex-doper a contract was debated in the media.

TV3 reporter and Irish Independent columnist Sinead Kissane questioned Munster captain Peter O'Mahony about the lock's presence in the squad during this afternoon's press conference, with the flanker standing by his team-mate.

"It's certainly not for the players," O'Mahony said to TV3 News when asked if Grobler's past was an issue for the team.

"It's important that we keep the game clean from an Irish rugby point of view, from a Munster point of view. It is something that needs to be talked about. As far as I'm concerned with GG, he made some bad decisions and he has done his time. He is here with us now as a Munster player and we will stand by him."

Munster and Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray echoed O'Mahony's sentiments.

"He gets the backing of us as players," he said.

"He completely accepts what he did, it was wrong, but does that mean he shouldn't play rugby again? I think that is crazy."

Murray was then asked by Kissane whether he would like Irish rugby to take a stand against employing players who have previously tested positive.

"I think it is a case by case basis," Murray said.

"It was the wrong decision, he was young and foolish. He paid the price for it. I think everyone deserves a second chance, he has learned from his mistakes."

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