Conor Murray tells Andy Farrell he’s ready to face France
Scrum-half poised to take his place despite his father suffering serious injuries in bike crash
Andy Farrell says Conor Murray is “good to go” ahead of tomorrow’s crunch Six Nations clash with France despite his father suffering serious injuries on Wednesday.
The 101-times-capped scrum-half was yesterday named to start in the Six Nations showdown despite speculation he would not be available.
It subsequently emerged that his father Gerry had been seriously injured when his bike collided with a truck in Limerick.
Speaking before details came to public light, the head coach said Murray had indicated he wants to play at the Aviva Stadium.
“He’s good to go. In good spirits. For personal reasons, I’d like to keep that as it is,” he said.
Murray’s presence in the team means Dan Sheehan is the only absentee from the side that beat Wales on the opening weekend of action, with Rob Herring starting at hooker and Rónan Kelleher fit enough to be named on the bench.
Farrell has called on the Aviva Stadium crowd to get behind the team from the off and create a hostile atmosphere for the visiting French.
“One-hundred per cent,” he said. “It’s a package, isn’t it? It’s everyone who comes to the game buying into it and we’re a part of that package.
“Everyone wants to start strongly and it’s something that we’ve done pretty well, but things ain’t going to go all according to plan when two good teams are going at it.
“It isn’t just getting behind us and getting excited through the good times, it’s also making sure that the fans feel where we’re at in the game as well, and try to drag us through, because it’s certainly what our players felt last year in France.”
While Farrell expects champions France to improve after narrowly avoiding an upset against Italy in Rome last week, he says Ireland will also be better.
“There has to be bit of honesty in every review. We got off to a good start on paper but there’s a lot of bits in our game that needs to be better,” he said. “There’s a realisation in the group of what those bits are for us so I expect us to be a lot better this week.
“It’s having a clear understanding of the plan and how you walk towards whatever it is that you’re going to meet, understanding you fully believe in what you’re trying to achieve and then going for it full hog.”
France have named an unchanged XV for the second-round clash.
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