England are coming over to beat us up - Conor Murray

The Munster and Ireland scrum-half is expecting nothing less than a bruising encounter at the Aviva on Sunday.

Conor Murray at this afternoon's press briefing.
Conor Murray at this afternoon's press briefing.
Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

IT TOOK A lot of skill, promise and determination for Conor Murray to make his international breakthrough but missing one Irish game last year was a small mercy.

Eoin Reddan and Tomás O’Leary were the scrum-halves last March when the Irish scrum imploded, under their noses, against England at Twickenham.

O’Leary may have to settle for Irish appearances in London for The Exiles in the Premier League while Reddan has not started a game in green since.

Murray was injured in the Parisian draw against France and missed the English rampage. He has played against England is his short Test career, however, and was on the bench when Manu Tuilagi barrelled through Keith Earls for an early try in a 20-9 win.

Murray is expecting a bruising encounter this weekend. He told, “England are a hugely physical team.

We’re battered and bruised from the intensity of the Wales game. We’ll have to recover really well because we know what we are going to be facing up to at the weekend.

“They’re a bruising team and they are going to come at us at close quarters and look to beat us up a bit.”

He added, “We’re all happy about how we stood up at the weekend and I think we’ll be confident of doing it again.”

Murray believes the team will take a lot of encouragement from a scintillating first half that left the Welsh — Grand Slam winners last year — trailing 23-3 at the break.

He gives credit to Wales for retaining possession and pressing his team hard in the second half.

He said, “I think our game, when we have the ball, is in a good place and, obviously, we are happy with how we defended.”

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Grand Slam questions

Whatever team emerges from Sunday’s dust-up at Lansdowne Road will be declared the presumptive Six Nations champions and the whispered words ‘Grand Slam’ will be out, loud and proud.

France’s shock loss to Italy at the weekend has added to the column inches that declare the Ireland v England as the championship’s seminal moment.

“I heard those rumours already,” said Murray. “You can certainly lose a Grand Slam or a Triple Crown this weekend but I don’t think you can win it.

Teams like Italy are standing up to the plate this time and we are going to have three massive challenges after the England game. It’s a huge game but I don’t think it’s a title-decider.”

Meanwhile, the IRFU have confirmed to that the only pre-World Cup fixture in 2015 that has been, as yet, agreed upon is a clash at Twickenham against the English on 5 September.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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