Conor Murray refuses to be drawn into Lions Tour speculation

The Ireland scrum-half was instrumental to a wonderful November series

BY Cian Roche 15:51 Wednesday 7 December 2016, 15:51 7 Dec 2016

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne 

Munster and Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray has refused to be drawn into any speculation regarding next year's Lions Tour and insists that he is focused on this weekend's clash with Leicester.

Warren Gatland announced his backroom team today for next summer's tour against Southern Hemisphere sides including New Zealand and the Maori All-Blacks. But Murray is not looking past his most immediate task at hand and only fleetingly recalled his last Lions Tour in 2013.

"That tour went well, it's probably something you don't like talking about since it's so far away," he said. "That tour was a really good memory. We got our few chances and a bit of a break, the lads managed to play well.

"I know there's a Lions Tour at the end of the year but again, it's so far away. I'm happy with the way I'm playing right now. But look at Ben Youngs who is also playing really, really well. So are a lot of other scrum-halves on the British and Irish isles. The competition is massive at the moment.

"It's week to week. If I can stay injury free and keep going by playing as well as I can, that's all I can do. It's all I can control."

Conor Murray looking solely ahead to upcoming Champions Cup and Pro12 clashes. Images: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne 

Murray acknowledged the competition he will face from Youngs and explains that the two have contrasting styles which may make it an interesting duel.

"He plays his game, I play mine. I play as well as I can for my team and don't worry about anyone else. I fully respect him and he's a great player, but we're different style scrum-halves. I have enough on my plate and try to prepare as well as I can.

"I was watching Ben over the Autumn and I thought he was awesome. He's going to be a massive threat for them. We're going to have to be very, very aware of what he brings to the Leicester team and be very aware of him on Saturday. 

"We're in a Munster week now so I'm just focused on that now. It's a target I have in my head, but I;m just going to keep my head down and work towards it."

Munster host Leicester this weekend in the Champions Cup and Murray is looking forward to getting back into the swing of the club game.  

"There's a lot of tradition there and I think it's going to be an epic two weeks. It's good that we're home first, we get to come to Thomond [Park] and hopefully play in front of a sold out Thomond Park and put on a performance.

"They're in a rich vein of form, but we got a great win against Glasgow [in the last round]. It was a gritty win and it showed a lot of character. Maybe last year or the year before we would have found it tough to win those kind of games but we're on the better side of those games now which is good."

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