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Conor Murray Getting Dropped From Munster Could Have Big Implications For Ireland

Conor Murray Getting Dropped From Munster Could Have Big Implications For Ireland
By Michael Bolton Updated
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The big team news from Munster today is the absence of Conor Murray, who was left out of the squad for their clash against Northampton.

At one stage of his career, Conor Murray would have been the first name on the team sheet for both Munster and Ireland. Between 2015 and 2018, he was the best scrum-half in the world alongside Aaron Smith.

In fact, since his debut in 2011, the 33-year-old has been Ireland's first choice in the position, fending off competition for the best part of a decade.

However, injuries, inconsistent form and the emergence of Craig Casey has raised serious questions about Conor Murray's future, both in Munster and Ireland.

There's no doubt that Conor Murray is still a talented player. There's very few players that can control a game in vital moments like him, and would be valuable for any side.

However, there is a sense that his style of play has been bypassed in recent years. The quick, energetic heads up style Munster are now playing has brought out the best in Craig Casey, who will be the long term option for both province and country.

It has also created a resurgence in Paddy Patterson, who was picked ahead of Conor Murray on the bench this weekend. Rowntree has rewarded Patterson for his excellent form with a spot in this vital Champions Cup tie.

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The theme of form ahead of experience is seen across this Munster side, with Calvin Nash and Liam Coombes ahead of Keith Earls, who is also left out of the side.

Conor Murray's Six Nations Future

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With the Six Nations set to start in just over three weeks time, the couldn't have come at a worse time for Murray.

Since 2021, Jamison Gibson-Park has been first choice scrum-half under Andy Farrell, with Murray usually brought on late in games to see Ireland to victory.

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As Ireland secured a triple crown in the Six Nations and a historic series win in New Zealand, the Leinster scrum-half was crucial to Ireland's success.

However, if Murray isn't involved on the biggest stage for Munster, it's unlikely he will be involved for Ireland, with Casey now the clear number two scrum-half in the squad.

His 100th cap in the victory over South Africa ended in disappointment, with injury ending his game in the first half, as Gibson-Park shone as his replacement.

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Farrell has overlooked provincial selection before, with Harry Byrne picked ahead of his brother Ross, but this could be the beginning of the end for Murray's Ireland career.

While Conor Murray will likely be chosen as the third choice scrum-half for the Six Nations, he may not have that option for the World Cup.

Despite the squad being extended to 33 players, Ireland only brought two scrum-half's to the World Cup. Right now, that's Gibson-Park and Casey.

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Unless there's an injury, Murray will have a huge task on his hands in the next eight months to make the squad to France

SEE ALSO: Stephen Ferris Pinpoints Moment Munster Turned Their Season Around 

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