Friday 18 January 2019

We can't go into our shell, warns Murray


Conor Murray. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Conor Murray. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor​

Conor Murray has warned his Ireland team-mates that they must adopt a positive approach to secure the Grand Slam at Twickenham.

The stakes are high for the final Six Nations game against England as Joe Schmidt's team look to join Irish rugby's most elite club.

As one of the senior players in the team, the scrum-half is embracing the challenge of following in the footsteps of the 1948 and 2009 teams.

And Murray believes that the current crop must continue to play their own game and not let the enormity of what's at stake affect their plans.

"Occasions like this, massive games with a lot of pressure, that's the challenge, that you don't go into your shell and you tighten things up and you don't express yourself," he said.

"What this group is really good at, we are coached really well and we have our game-plan and structure but there is a lot of natural ability.

"People play heads-up rugby, people play football, people back themselves in certain instances and we can't lose it in the challenge of this week.

"This is a game that people with those kind of instincts don't shy away from that because that adds so much to our game-plan and to what we are trying to do.

"I don't think anything will change. We will obviously have a look at England, look at opportunities, obviously their strengths and dealing with that but we can't lose that natural heads-up approach we have."

The Irish management issued a positive injury bulletin yesterday, confirming that Cian Healy would train fully this morning after suffering a shoulder stinger against Scotland.

England coach Eddie Jones may bring Exeter back-row Don Armand into his side, while he confirmed that Dylan Hartley will play if fit.

The Australian said revenge would not be on the English agenda against an Irish side who denied them the Slam last season.

"I've never found revenge to be a positive motivation, I don't think it's a sustainable motivation," he said. "The motivation for us is to play well in front of our home crowd."

Irish Independent

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