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Saturday 22 September 2018

Third Grand Slam would be number one for Conor

Conor Murray. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Conor Murray. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Conor Murray was finally able to exhale and give the Grand Slam proper consideration out in Carton House.

The scrum-half has known what it is like to win a British & Irish Lions series in Australia in 2013 and draw one in New Zealand in 2017.

But, right here, right now, Ireland’s third Grand Slam would stand alone. 

“It would be up there, it would be right at the top,” he said.  “Thankfully, there has been a few really good days in big games.

“Just from chatting to a few lads who have won a Slam, you know the couple of championships we won in ‘14 ‘15 were unbelievable.

“The buzz was great. The sense of achievement was massive.

“But this is another level. This is something different. This is something that hasn’t been done all that often, twice.

“It is going to be up there if it goes well. It would be right up there.”

For Ireland to make history, they will need everyone on call.

An injury update issued yesterday went to the bother of using the specific medical term for what happened to Cian Healy against Scotland.

He took a heavy blow to the head/neck area and some observers have alluded to how the groggy nature of the prop’s reaction should have signalled a Head Injury Assessment.

“Cian Healy suffered a stinger-like injury to the shoulder/trapezius area,” the statement read. 

Discomfort

“He experienced some dis comfort on the field and received the appropriate treatment.”

There was no mention of any other specific injuries, not even the leg/ankle injury sustained by Garry Ringrose late on in the game.  

Unsurprisingly, the outside centre has suddenly come back into focus as a central figure in how Ireland will go about defending and attacking England at Twickenham.

The impact of Chris Farrell helped everyone to cope with the loss of Robbie Henshaw.

“You know you look at what Chris did against Wales,” said Murray. “He is an athlete. He is a massive man. He is a bit bigger than Garry and he used that to his advantage.”

When Farrell went down, Ringrose was undercooked and under the spotlight.

“Garry, his feet, his footwork, his acceleration is phenomenal,” said Murray.

“He is an asset to have in any team and the lads, Joe (Schmidt) and Andy (Farrell) and the coaching staff, know what they need from Garry and he is very good at delivering that.“

“Like, the natural ability he has is something we can’t lose. I wouldn’t have any fears of him losing it, playing a little tighter, or going into a shell.

“I think he is the type of fella who  likes to get on the ball, backs himself.

“That’s what you need, guys who are hungry for it.”

Just like Murray.

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