'A talent hits a target, a genius hits a target nobody else can see' - Van Graan on Conor Murray

The Munster head coach was forced to wince as Conor Murray took treatment late on against Wales.

MUNSTER COACH JOHANN van Graan admitted that he winced when he saw Conor Murray go down injured in Saturday’s Six Nations win over Wales.

Conor Murray down injured Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

And he joked with Joe Schmidt afterwards that the scrum-half should now be rested for the remainder of Six Nations so that he would be fit for Munster’s Champions Cup quarter-final showdown with Toulon next month.

Van Graan said he regards Murray as a world-class player with extraordinary talents and he reminds him of former Springbok captain Fourie du Preez.

“You can’t say enough about Conor Murray. His work-rate, what he brings to the team, his calm demeanour. He’s the type of player who’s got no fear. It seems to me that he does things, he doesn’t always know why but he just does it. He’s such a natural talent.

“I’ve said it about one player that I’ve coached before and I think he’s the same. A talent hits a target that nobody else can hit but a genius hits a target nobody else can see. He sees things that other players don’t and I think Ireland are very lucky to have him at this stage.

Conor Murray Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“Fourie du Preez is a player I coached for a very long time and in the big games he always wanted the ball. For the Bulls in finals, that’s when he came through and when I coached him with the Springboks in big games, he wanted the ball.

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“Conor Murray is the same type of player. He seems to want it. The more the game gets tough and the higher the pressure gets he seems to say, ‘listen, just give me the ball.

“I actually spoke to Joe after the game and the two of us had a laugh and I said to him you must rest Conor now for the next two Irish games and make him available for Munster!

“I think everybody in Ireland knows how important he is to Irish rugby and to Munster rugby. He is one of our world-class players in our team and I believe together with Sexton for Ireland, when those two play, Ireland win. So not only for Munster but Irish rugby it’s very important he stays fit and I was very glad when he got up.”

About the author:

John Fallon

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