Wednesday 19 June 2019

Murray's low-key build-up as dad revs up for Cardiff

Conor Murray back home in Limerick with his dog Freddie. Photo: Press 22
Conor Murray back home in Limerick with his dog Freddie. Photo: Press 22
Gerry Murray will be heading to Britain on his motorbike today to watch his son Conor play in the World Cup. Picture: Press 22 Newsdesk Newsdesk

As thousands of Irish rugby fans pack their bags for Cardiff this weekend, the father of scrum-half Conor Murray is taking the long road.

Gerry Murray will be hitting the road on his motorbike at 5.30am this morning and heading to Rosslare ferry port while the rest of the nation is still waking up.

From there he will take the ferry to Fishguard in west Wales and bike it to his hotel 20km outside Cardiff ahead of the opening clash with Canada on Saturday.

Gerry has no doubt that his son is well prepared for the challenges ahead.

"Conor was always unbelievably disciplined - like his bags have been packed two or three days ago now," he said. "He has to have everything laid out immaculately.

"He might have gotten a little bit of that from me - his house is even like that."

The Munster scrum-half has certainly made sure that his hair will be immaculate for the tournament, with his traditional pre-match trim.

He made sure he had time for one last minute ritual before he left home - a dash to local hairdresser Miriam Carey in Patrickswell.

But he has no set routine prior to a game, although he does don the headphones and listen to some music.

"I'm not superstitious, maybe I was a little bit when I was younger but now not at all. I prepare really well and have my own routine."

The Number Nine says he has received great support from the people of his native Limerick.

"A group of my mates - I think there is a group of around 60 of them heading over on a bus to the Italy game. The texts and messages you receive are always inspiring and well received. It's great to have the support of your local people and the coaches and teachers that you have worked with all the way up."

Relaxing with his father and dog Freddie at home earlier this week, he added: "I'm excited. We are lucky that we are so close to the tournament that we get to be at home for a few extra days.

"I think we have been quite low key about it. I was lucky enough to go to the last World Cup so I know what to expect a little bit.

"The last time I was a bolter, as they say. But I'm a more experienced player, and I kind of know what to expect and I have more expectation."

Irish Independent

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