©INPHO/James Crombie
# Inked
Conor Murray signs new two-year IRFU contract
The Munster scrum-half has ended speculation linking him with a move to French club Toulouse.

CONOR MURRAY HAS signed a new two-year contract with the IRFU, keeping him with Munster until at least 2016.

The 24-year-old had been linked with a move to French club Toulouse in recent months, so this announcement comes as some relief in Irish rugby circles. Murray has won 22 caps for his country, while also appearing in the two final tests of the Lions’ tour to Australia this year.

The Limerick man made his provincial debut against Connacht in April 2010 and has gone on to rack up 49 appearances, including a start against Perpignan in the Heineken Cup last weekend. Unfortunately, the scrum-half sustained medial ligament damage to his right knee in that game and will be out of action for up to 6 weeks.

Commenting on his new deal, Murray said:

“I am thrilled to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing my rugby with Munster. In 2013 I learned a lot as a player with my province, Ireland and the Lions and I hope to continue to develop and push for honours over the coming years.”

Munster head coach Rob Penney joined his young star in greeting the news with pleasure, given that Murray is already a key component of his side.

“We are delighted that Conor has signed a new IRFU contract which will secure him to Munster until the end of the 2016 season.

“Conor has illustrated in recent months the value he brings to not only Munster but to the national team as well At 24 he is still a young guy and he has the potential to go on to become one of the best scrum-halves in the game.”

IRFU CEO Phillip Browne – who now must ensure other top Irish players such as Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip are tied down new deals – echoed Penney’s sentiments.

Conor has made a significant impact on Munster and Irish rugby since making his breakthrough in 2011. We are delighted that he has signed a new contract that will keep him at Munster until the end of the 2016 season.”

The hope is that this deal being sealed encourages the likes of O’Brien, Heaslip and others to commit their futures to the IRFU and the Irish provinces. After very different news had been rumoured to be on the way today, Murray’s re-signing is extremely welcome.

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