Conor Murray can see one upside to Simon Zebo departing Munster: he and his teammates will not have to endure the 'Zebo, Zebo, Zebo' chant at Thomond Park beyond this season.
Zebo rang Murray on Sunday night to tell him that he will be moving at the end of the season, he also explained the reasons why.
Initially, Murray says that he was upset to hear that someone who is not just a teammate, but also a close friend, would no longer be a daily presence in his life.
"I was, selfishly, kind of upset; not with him, I was like 'Fair play to you, if that's what you want to do. I know you've wanted to do this for a long time. Now is the right time for you and your family to do this.'
You have to be honest: he's looking at securing his family's future for a little bit more. That's not easy decision to make."
As a person and player, Murray says that the 27-year-old will undoubtedly be missed.
"It's not like he's dying or anything, he's just going playing rugby somewhere else - he'll still be one of my best mates," he adds.
The two will be staying in contact. If he goes to visit Zebo in France, Murray says that it will simply be about their friendship rather than weighing up a possible move abroad.
"I'm sure I'll be over in France visiting and he'll come home to odd time and see us and you'll get a sense of it. It would be more a friendship thing if I went over now rather than thinking about my contract on the line."
The scrum-half does see a risk in Zebo's move to the Top 14 - one beyond what now looks like international exile. The more relaxed structure of French rugby, compared to that in Ireland, might lead to some over-indulgence.
"Especially with him, it's probably a risk - the baguettes and the croissants wouldn't agree with him," Murray says with a smirk.
Just from speaking to Dave Foley or Paddy Butler, who went to Pau recently, the structure of your week is more relaxed. Some days you mightn’t be in until two and if you want to do the gym, you come in before 2pm and do it yourself.
Whereas at Munster, you come in, you are on your app, you do all your scores and then you do your mobility, your gym, you go to your meeting. It is all laid out for you. We are like sheep, basically. In France, it is a bit looser. It would be a risk.
The good news for Munster fans: Murray sees what could be his and Zebo's last season as teammates as extra motivation to do something special with the province this season.
Definitely, we’ve been lucky we won a couple of Six Nations with Ireland, they were great days, and we had a lot of great days with Munster in the Heineken and Champions Cup group stages and quarter-finals.
It’s definitely upped my motivation not that it needed much upping. It would be incredible. He’s got lots of best friends though, Peter O’Mahony played with him at Cork Con since he was five or six, so it’d be amazing to win something with him, it’d be emotional as well.
Ireland and Munster scrum-half Conor Murray today launched “Who We Are is How We Play”, the next phase of Vodafone Ireland’s “Team Of Us” sponsorship of the Irish rugby team.
This season Vodafone will give fans a rare glimpse into the childhoods of Conor Murray, Rory Best, Tiernan O’Halloran and Tadhg Furlong in their new campaign which will be live from November 1st.