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'We come over and back' - Joanna Cooper on making her long-distance romance with Conor Murray work

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Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and Joanna Cooper with Peter O'Mahony and fiancée Jessica Moloney and friends. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and Joanna Cooper with Peter O'Mahony and fiancée Jessica Moloney and friends. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper with Ireland rugby teammate Rob Kearney and his girlfriend Jess Redden. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper with Ireland rugby teammate Rob Kearney and his girlfriend Jess Redden. Picture: Instagram

Jess Redden and Joanna Cooper in Dubai. Picture: Instagram

Jess Redden and Joanna Cooper in Dubai. Picture: Instagram

Joanna Cooper represented Ireland at Miss Universe in 2015

Joanna Cooper represented Ireland at Miss Universe in 2015

Joanna Cooper represented Ireland at Miss Universe in 2015

Joanna Cooper represented Ireland at Miss Universe in 2015

Joanna Cooper with boyfriend Conor Murray at the Ed Sheeran concert. Picture: Instagram

Joanna Cooper with boyfriend Conor Murray at the Ed Sheeran concert. Picture: Instagram

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Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

It looks like Joanna Cooper and Conor Murray will have to make do with their long-distance love for the forseeable future as the model admitted she has no plans to move back to Ireland any time soon.

The Derry woman (24) moved to London shortly after she competed in Miss Universe in 2015 and has been there ever since.

However, both she and the rugby star (29) make trips back and forth to see each other as often as they can.

"I do come home a good bit, it's like an hour flight so it's fine. But I don't know if I see myself moving back. Definitely not to Derry anyway.

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Joanna Cooper with boyfriend Conor Murray at the Ed Sheeran concert. Picture: Instagram

Joanna Cooper with boyfriend Conor Murray at the Ed Sheeran concert. Picture: Instagram

Joanna Cooper with boyfriend Conor Murray at the Ed Sheeran concert. Picture: Instagram

"I see him. We come over and back," she told the Diary.

"I have so many nephews and nieces and everytime I come home, they're like, 'You're leaving again?' But at the same time, it's nice to be able to have something to come back to."

Joanna and Conor have been dating for several months but have mostly kept a low profile. She celebrated with him and the rest of the Ireland team after their win in the Grand Slam earlier this year and joined her other half on a romantic trip to Dubai with a few of the other teammates and their girlfriends.

She described their trip as "lovely" and "really, really fun".

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Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

Conor Murray and girlfriend Joanna Cooper. Picture: Instagram

While she may not be moving back to Ireland in the near future, Joanna has been enjoying some time at home in recent weeks.

She was in Dublin visiting friends last week and joined Conor in Cork to watch Ed Sheeran's sold-out gig over the bank holiday weekend.

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She shared loved-up snaps from the gig with the couple looking cosy in the crowd.

They were joined by Conor's Munster teammate Peter O'Mahoney and his new fiancée Jessica Moloney, who's expecting the couple's second child.

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Joanna Cooper represented Ireland at Miss Universe in 2015

Joanna Cooper represented Ireland at Miss Universe in 2015

Joanna Cooper represented Ireland at Miss Universe in 2015

Recent brands Joanna has worked with include ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Agent Provocateur and River Island, who she shot a campaign with in Greece.

While models are often quite tall, Joanna, who stands at 5'5, believes her shorter stature has been an asset rather than a hindrance.

"[The industry in London] is competitive. I'm lucky because I'm shorter, so there are not as many girls like me.

"It would be a disadvantage if I was looking to do regular work whereas I work for petite brands, so it's fine," she said.

Speaking at the launch of Suzanne Jackson's tanning range Dripping Gold, Joanna said that competing in Miss Universe was the push she needed to begin her modelling career.

"I was surrounded by so many girls that were so driven so when I came back, I was like, 'Right, this is what I want to do, so I'm going to do it.' In a few months I moved to London," she said.


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