Grand slam would be the cherry on top

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:35
Large conor murray ireland 800

SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Scrumhalf Conor Murray says being part of only the third Ireland team to achieve a Grand Slam would likely be the greatest moment of his sporting career.

The 28-year-old Munster star - along with his fellow world-class half-back partner Johnny Sexton - will hope to orchestrate Ireland's first win over England at Twickenham since 2010 to emulate the Grand Slam-winning sides of 1948 and 2009.

They go to London boosted by having secured their third Six Nations title in five campaigns under Joe Schmidt, but face an England outfit wounded by two successive defeats that ended their two-year reign and keen to deny the Irish the Slam - something their opponents did to them in 2017.

"We can start talking about it [Grand Slam] now, because that's what's in front of us if things go well," said Murray.

"It would be right up there, probably at the top. Only Rob [Kearney] and Rory [Best] are left that have won a Slam.

"The motivation is in our group and it's about how we avoid the distraction of all that and go about our business like we usually do in a match week with something really special to play for,"

Murray, who played on the last two British and Irish Lions tours, said there is no question the team is talented enough, but the older players needed to chaperone the younger ones through the week with advice about how to handle the pressure.

"It's a massive occasion and one a lot of lads haven't faced into before," said Murray.

"But there's a lot of lads in the group that have played in massive, massive games and know how to go about a big-match week.

"There's a crop of younger players in this group that the older, more experienced players can guide through the week.

"I wouldn't have any fears about the younger players, they're just so good at rugby that it comes so naturally to them,"

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 5 0 0 26
Wales 5 3 0 2 15
Scotland 5 3 0 2 13
France 5 2 0 3 11
England 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 1