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Conor Murray's Journey To 100 Caps And Becoming Ireland's Greatest Scrumhalf

Conor Murray's Journey To 100 Caps And Becoming Ireland's Greatest Scrumhalf
Colman Stanley
By Colman Stanley
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In honour of Conor Murray reaching 100 caps for Ireland today, we take a quick look back through some of his most memorable moments in an Irish jersey.

Many would be of the opinion that he is Ireland's greatest ever scrum-half, and from 2014-2018 he was in constant battle with New Zealand's Aaron Smith for the title of the world's best no. 9.

His masterful tactical kicking, defence, danger from close range, and his knack of coming with big plays, set him apart from the rest.

His partnership with Johnny Sexton has been one of the most feared and successful half-back pairings in the history of the game, and tomorrow against South Africa, the two legends of Irish rugby take to the field once more in tandem.

2011 Irish Debut

In 2011 a 22-year-old Conor Murray made his Irish debut with a substitute appearance in World Cup warm-up game against France.

Such was the impression he made, he was selected for the World Cup squad which travelled to New Zealand that September. By the tournament's end, Murray was Ireland's starting scrumhalf

13 August 2011; Jerry Flannery, left, and Conor Murray, Ireland, stand together for the national anthem. Rugby World Cup Warm-up Game, France v Ireland, Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux, France. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

The Highs And Lows With Johnny Sexton

While Murray and Sexton enjoyed many momentous days in green, they experienced their share of disappointments, none more so than Ireland's last minute loss to the All Blacks in 2013.

24 November 2013; Ireland's Conor Murray is congratulated by team-mates Jonathan Sexton, right. and Jamie Heaslip after scoring his side's first try. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

A Half Century For Ireland

Conor Murray won his 50th cap for Ireland in a 19-13 loss to the South Africa in 2016.


While Ireland lost the series 2-1, they did manage a first win against the Springboks on South African soil.


25 June 2016; Ireland players Andrew Trimble, left, and Conor Murray after the Castle Lager Incoming Series 3rd Test between South Africa and Ireland at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Redemption In Chicago And His Finest Moment In Green

Ireland finally banished their All Black hoodoo in Soldier Field in 2016, with Murray playing a crucial role.


His brilliantly cute try out of nothing put 17 points between the two sides, and gave Ireland firm belief that a first win against New Zealand was within reach.

Slotting Penalties And Winning Grand Slams 

If Sexton was off injured, or feeling tightness or a niggle in the leg, Murray could always be called on to take over the kicking duties.


He once again showed off this valuable skill during Ireland's defeat of England at Twickenham in their final match of the 2018 Six Nations, which saw them take home the Grand Slam.


While he has already reached the 100 test milestone, with his British & Irish Lions caps, tomorrow he will join seven other men - John Hayes, Johnny Sexton, Paul O'Connell, Cian Healy, Rory Best, Ronan O'Gara, and Brian O'Driscoll - who have reached a century of appearances in the green jersey.


4 November 2022; Conor Murray, left, and Jimmy O'Brien walk onto the player's tunnel before the Ireland captain's run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

SEE ALSO: Ferris Picks Three Men Who Could Force Their Way Into Ireland's 1st Choice 23

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