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Conor Murray Shows Incredible Strength With Brilliant Shift For Ireland v France

Conor Murray Shows Incredible Strength With Brilliant Shift For Ireland v France
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Conor Murray faced a week of personal tribulations in the build-up to Ireland v France, after a road accident left father Gerry fighting serious injuries in hospital in Cork.

The road accident - which occurred when Gerry was cycling in Limerick on Tuesday - meant Murray departed the Ireland camp midweek, before returning ahead of Friday's Captain's Run in the Aviva Stadium.

Despite the challenges faced by the family midweek, Conor Murray showed incredible strength to take his place in Ireland's starting XV for Saturday's crunch game with France - and put in an absolutely mega shift in a famous win for Ireland.

Johnny Sexton praises Conor Murray for role in Ireland win v France

Most pundits would have agreed pre-match that the fate of this year's Six Nations championship rested on Saturday's blockbuster showdown between Ireland and France in Dublin.

For the first time ever, the #1 and #2 ranked teams in World Rugby met each other in a Six Nations game, and it did not disappoint. A scintillating first-half saw Ireland go in at the break six points ahead, after brilliant try-scoring, as well as some controversy in the first 40 minutes.

Ireland would kick on in the second half, and ultimately won out by 32 points to 19 to make a massive statement in Dublin.

Conor Murray may have been called off for Craig Casey early in the second-half, but he was a standout force in Ireland's attacking play in the opening 40.


Conor Murray

11 February 2023; Hugo Keenan of Ireland, left, celebrates with teammates Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray after scoring his side's first try during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

READ HERE: Wayne Barnes Rightly Hammered For Farcical French Red Card Non-Decision


The Munster scrum-half started for the second week in a row, after a pre-tournament injury to Jamison Gibson-Park, and did so against the backdrop of a tremendously difficult week for his family.

Murray's father Gerry was seriously injured in a road accident early this week, with coaches Andy Farrell and John Fogarty paying tribute to Conor's strength in returning to the camp ahead of Saturday's massive game.

Even in normal circumstances, Murray would have been praised for his performance against France, but the circumstances in which it came only made it more impressive from the 33-year-old.


His captain and half-back partner Johnny Sexton would pile the praise on Murray during his full-time media duties, saying:

Unbelievable really, isn't it. It's a mark of the character and the player. In my eyes, he's always been a class operator... Amazing, really, that he could show up today, be so calm and perform the way he did.

It's a mark of the character and player. In my eyes, he's always been world-class and changed the game in many ways for scrum-halves.

Murray received a special reception from the Irish fans ahead of kick-off, and a standing ovation when he was subbed off for Craig Casey in the second-half, after a superb performance.


READ HERE: Brian O’Driscoll Dumbfounded By Wayne Barnes Refusal To Award France Red Card

Pre-match, the RTÉ punditry team had praised Conor Murray - not only for his strength in returning to the squad, but in proving he deserved to regain his place in Ireland's starting XV.


Former Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip said pre-match:

I'm delighted that he's getting another start here, his 50th in the Six Nations. He's the best passer in the game, he's the best nine in the game. I know there's other nines that look faster around the field, but you ask any ten who they want on the inside of them, and it's Conor Murray.

To show the mental strength to turn up with the week he has had - I would not want to be playing against that man today.

There was widespread praise for the Munsterman on Twitter at full-time.

Against the backdrop of a desperately difficult week for his family, Conor Murray once again proved his immense worth at the top level of world rugby. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Gerry and the entire Murray family.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Tears For Johnny Sexton During Anthems Ahead Of Mega France Clash

Ireland France anthems
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