Johnny Sexton has given Conor Murray some simple advice when it comes to weighing up a new contract with the IRFU or to move abroad – “don’t go”.
A wry smile and a burst of laughter followed from the Leinster captain, who was in upbeat form at the launch of the Heineken Champions Cup in Dublin. He spent two years in Paris with Racing and speaking exclusively to RugbyPass Sexton expressed hope that Murray will turn down any overtures from overseas.
“Conor will be a wanted man I presume. I was reading this morning that he was staying and signing the best contract ever by a British or Irish player, so I hope that’s true, rather than the other moving abroad. He is a big part of the Ireland team, he is a huge part and hopefully he will stay here. The way he is looked after here and the way he is admired by everyone across the country I think hopefully he will stay.”
Munster Peter O’Mahoney, who himself signed a new three-year deal with the IRFU last December, wants Murray locked down by Irish rugby paymasters.
“These are the guys that we want to be holding onto to be competing. He is one of the best players in the world and a Munsterman from the off. You have got to be holding onto guys who are homebred certainly, at the very least.”
One person who is sticking around is Jean Kleyn. The South African joined Munster in 2016 and has extended his deal until 2022. He will be eligible for Ireland in 2019 after passing the three year residency rule.
Asked by RugbyPass if he could be a bolter to make Ireland’s World Cup in Japan O’Mahony said: “Jean will know better than anyone it’s up to how well he plays and his performance.
“He is that kind of guy, pragmatic and a diligent guy with his gym. He knows how important his performances are and if he is ambitious and he performs the way he has been the last 18 months or two years I have no doubt he is international quality.”
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