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Conor Murray reveals cause of neck injury

You won’t believe it.

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Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Munster and Ireland scrum-half, Conor Murray has finally revealed what caused his troublesome neck injury. A hiccup.

The Munsterman opted at the start of last season to keep the medical details regarding his injury private, leading to all sorts of rumours and speculation as to what the injury was.

Looking back, Murray now believes he was wrong in being so secretive, agreeing that the Munster season ticket holders who fork out hard earned cash to watch their team and star players deserved to know what was going on and when he was likely to return to action.

Murray was speaking to the Guardian newspaper ahead of his 30th Birthday and Munster’s Champions Cup Semi-Final v Saracens this weekend.

“I took a few bangs against Australia in the deciding Test last June”

“I was a bit sore the next day but nothing that would ring alarm bells. We went to the States, came home and I was fine driving to a wedding. But I had hiccups and felt a muscle go, like a tear. I thought: ‘Gee that’s sore.’ “

“But it died down, I went to the wedding and played golf the next day. Then the second morning I woke up and couldn’t move. My neck was in spasm. The physios agreed the disc was on the edge of slipping and maybe the hiccup shifted it.

“I didn’t want to release anything,” he continued, explaining why he left the public in the dark over what had happened.

“It was my decision because the medical staff didn’t know how long it would last or what needed to be done. In that window there’s a void and people fill it with gossip. But as long as my family and I, my coaches and teammates, knew exactly what was going on, I was fine.

“In that three-week void, WhatsApp groups flicked them all over the country. Even my friends in London or abroad heard rumours and sent them to me. Steroids, a failed drug test or the injury’s so terrible he’s retiring.

“It’s the right of the player to withhold whatever he wants but I now think there’s a responsibility, especially at Munster where rugby means so much. I know how much the season ticket holders pay, so they deserve to know when players will be back.”

It’s been 11 years since Munster last lifted the European Cup. In 2008 Munster toppled Toulouse in Cardiff. Munster and Ireland legends such as Paul O’Connell, Alan Quinlan, Ronan O’Gara & Peter Stringer lined out that day to taste European Glory but Murray is yet to achieve that honour and is hungry for success.

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“It would be incredible,” he said. “I’ve been lucky with Lions tours and Six Nations wins and I wouldn’t trade them. But winning the European Cup with Munster would be unbelievable. It means the world to me.”

“As a young fella, my thing was the Heineken Cup. Wow. I was there with my dad when Munster won it the first time in Cardiff in 2006. And I watched the 2008 final on the big screen in Limerick. There were tens of thousands and I was blown away.

“I also remember going into school after Munster lost semis and finals and people spoke about how they were crying at home. Munster and the European Cup is instilled in you. It means an awful lot here.”

You can relive the 2008 Victory with highlights below:


Champions Cup

RTÉ To Broadcast Munster Home Champions Cup Fixtures

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RTÉ have today confirmed fixture details for both of Munster’s home Heineken Champions Cup Pool fixtures against Toulouse and Northampton Saints.

See home fixture details below with details yet to be confirmed for our away games.

Ticket details will be released shortly.

Heineken Champions Cup Fixtures

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Round 1: Munster Rugby v Stade Toulousain, Thomond Park, 3.15pm;

December 16/17/18, 2023

Round 2: Northampton Saints v Munster Rugby, TBC;

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Round 3: Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 3.15pm;

January 20/21/22, 2023

Round 4: Stade Toulousain v Munster Rugby, TBC;

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Champions Cup

Player Contract Extensions Confirmed

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Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to confirm the first player contract extensions of the season with five members of the senior squad putting pen to paper.

Craig Casey has signed a three-year contract while Mike Haley, Shane Daly and Josh Wycherley have signed two-year contract extensions.

Additionally, Alex Kendellen, who advanced to the senior ranks at the beginning of the season on a new two-year deal, has extended his contract further to remain with the province until at least July 2025.

Scrum-half Craig Casey has made 49 appearances for the province since his debut against Connacht in 2019.

The 23-year-old Shannon man and former Ardscoil Rís pupil won Academy Player of the Year in 2019 and was also vice-captain of the Grand Slam-winning Ireland U20s that year.

He was named Young Player of the Year in 2021 and has made 38 appearances over the past two seasons along with earning five Ireland caps.

Mike Haley.

Mike Haley joined Munster from Sale Sharks in 2018 and has already amassed 80 appearances for the province, starting at full-back on each occasion and scoring 16 tries.

The Preston native played more minutes than any other Munster player in the 2018/19 and 2020/21 campaigns and made his Ireland debut against Italy in August 2019.

28-year-old Haley made his Munster debut against Cheetahs in 2018 and has been a near ever-present at full-back since.

Shane Daly.

A product of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy, versatile back Shane Daly joined the senior squad in 2019 and has established himself as a key member of the squad.

He was named Young Player of the Year in 2020 with the Cork Constitution clubman and former PBC student earning two Ireland caps over the past two years.

To date, the 25-year-old has scored eight tries in 49 Munster appearances and starts at full-back for Emerging Ireland against the Griquas in Bloemfontein later today.

Josh Wycherley

Josh Wycherley enjoyed a standout season last year making 19 appearances with an overall 29 appearances in red to date.

The 23-year-old prop made his debut against Cardiff Blues in Thomond Park in October 2020 with his first Champions Cup start singled out for high praise when Munster secured victory against Clermont Auvergne in December 2020.

His grassroots stem from Bantry Bay RFC and he is a former pupil of Cistercian College, Roscrea and linked up with Young Munster RFC on his move to Limerick.

Alex Kendellen.

A former Ireland U20s Six Nations Grand Slam winner, Wycherley starts for Emerging Ireland against the Griquas in Bloemfontein later today.

21-year-old Alex Kendellen was initially named in the Emerging Ireland squad for the South Africa tour but did not travel as he continues to follow return to play protocols.

A product of PBC and UCC the back-row forward was deservedly named the Academy Player of the Year in June after a fantastic season that saw him line out in 20 of Munster’s 26 games.

Kendellen made his debut against Scarlets in March 2021 and has made 22 appearances for the province.

He captained the Ireland U20s for the 2021 Six Nations and was a standout performer as they finished third, scoring six tries in five appearances.

Watch Live | Griquas v Emerging Ireland – 12.45pm

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Munster Rugby New Coaches Intro | 2022/23

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A new-look coaching team will lead Munster Rugby this season with Head Coach Graham Rowntree joined by Mike Prendergast, Andi Kyriacou and Denis Leamy.

New Attack Coach Prendergast joined from Racing 92, Forwards Coach Kyriacou was promoted from his role as Elite Player Development Officer and Defence Coach Leamy has returned from Leinster.

See profiles for the three new members of the coaching team below. Scroll down to watch Graham Rowntree’s first interview as Munster Head Coach.

Mike Prendergast – Attack Coach

Mike Prendergast has joined Munster from Top 14 side Racing 92, where he held the role of  Attack and Backs Coach since 2019.

Prendergast has a wealth of experience of coaching at the top level and in addition to Racing 92 he has held assistant coaching roles with Stade Francais, Oyannax Rugby and Grenoble FCG since making the move to France in 2013.

On completing his professional playing career in 2009 the scrum-half continued playing with his club Young Munster RFC while also progressing on the coaching front as he held Head Coach and Director of Rugby roles with the Limerick side.

On the provincial coaching front, he previously worked closely with Academy Manager Ian Costello and Team Manager Niall O’Donovan when overseeing the backline for the Munster A’s that enjoyed British and Irish Cup success in 2012.

Andi Kyriacou – Forwards Coach

Andi Kyriacou has been promoted from his role as an Elite Player Development Officer with the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy, a position he held since April 2021.

From England, the former hooker lined out for the province during the 2006/07 season when on loan from Saracens and went on to represent Ulster and Cardiff Rugby before retiring from the professional game in 2013.

Over the last decade he has held numerous coaching roles in the areas of the scrum, defence, skills, and forwards working with Cardiff Rugby, Sale Sharks, Russia Rugby and Nottingham.

Andi Kyriacou prior to Munster's Champions Cup clash against Wasps in Coventry earlier this season.

Andi Kyriacou prior to Munster’s Champions Cup clash against Wasps in Coventry.

Denis Leamy – Defence Coach

Denis Leamy returned to Munster after a three-year spell at Leinster, where he first held a role as an Elite Player Development Officer before moving up to the role of Contact Skills Coach in October 2021.

Following a hugely successful playing career with Munster and Ireland Leamy’s coaching career saw him work with several sides across the province over seven years including Young Munster RFC, Rockwell College, Clonmel RFC, Cashel RFC and Garryowen FC.

On the provincial front the Tipperary native also worked at various stages with Munster’s age-grade players and the ‘A’ team before making the move to Leinster.

He joined the Ireland U20s team as Assistant Coach for the 2021 Six Nations campaign.

New Defence Coach Denis Leamy.

New Defence Coach Denis Leamy.

Video | Graham Rowntree Interview

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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