Conor Murray admits he was 'shocked' to make Lions
Ireland and Munster scrum-half Conor Murray has said he feels ‘in form’ after being selected for his third British and Irish Lions tour, but admits he was ‘shocked’ to get the call from Warren Gatland.
Munster recently shared an interview with the 32-year-old on social media after he was selected in Gatland’s 37-man squad to take on world champions South Africa this year.
Murray said that Munster’s form this year was a contributing factor to his selection, after the province made the Guinness PRO14 final this season, losing to Leinster in the decider.
Murray’s selection was not guaranteed at the beginning of the year, but a strong end to the Guinness Six Nations on top of Munster’s performances would have convinced Gatland to take him as one of his three No9s.
“[I’m] Very shocked,” the five-cap Lion said. “You obviously think you’re in with a shout, but I suppose as the time comes closer and the announcement dragged on there were people chatting and being interviewed before and I was just hoping to get it over with. Be in or out, just get it over with. But it dragged on and in the time leading up to it doubt starts to creep in a little bit, no matter how much you think you have a chance, there’s always that chance that it might not go to plan.
“I’m over the moon. It’s an incredible feeling. A bit of relief because your family are on to you wondering have you heard anything and you’re sick of telling them you don’t know. You find out along with everyone else.
“We were in South Africa in 2016 with Ireland. It’s an incredibly special country, rugby mad, world champions, the storyline is going to build up nicely. Obviously Rassie [Erasmus] and Jacques [Nienaber] are involved still which will be nice to reacquaint with them. I suppose from a personal point of view having been involved in two tours, after the one in New Zealand in 2017, you are trying to map it out what age you’ll be and do you have a chance and there’s always that outside chance. The body feels great, I feel fit, I feel in form playing in a great team here with Munster. We’re a really happy squad, a really content squad and I think that makes an awful difference to how you play on the pitch.
“Very grateful to be involved in a club like this and that probably puts you in the shop window and puts you in with a chance.”
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) May 21, 2021
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