IRELAND scrum-half Conor Murray is hoping to mark his 50th appearance for his country on Saturday with an historic first ever series win over South Africa.
Ireland will be aiming to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to the Springboks last weekend in Johannesburg when Joe Schmidt’s side lock horns with South Africa in the series defining clash in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, 4pm.
Twenty seven-year-old Munster scrum-half Murray won the first of his 49 Irish caps in the 2011 World Cup warm-up game away to France. The Limerick man is set to win a milestone 50th cap in just five seasons this weekend.
Ireland looked on course for a 2-0 series win against the Boks’ on Saturday at Ellis Park, only for the home side to rack up 22 unanswered points in the final quarter to score a dramatic win.
Munster winger Keith Earls is likely to come back into Ireland’s starting line-up after being left out of the squad for the second Test. Earls’ provincial team mate CJ Stander is also available for selection having served the one-match ban imposed on him following his sending off in the first Test.
Scrum-half Murray is excited by the chance to create history and win a series in South Africa this weekend.
“I think we could have snatched it at the weekend so I think there’s such motivation there, genuinely. There’s massive motivation, there’s no danger of us looking beyond this game, looking to our holidays.
“This a chance at history, it would have been unbelievable to have won at Ellis Park and it’s very disappointing the way it ended, but we’ve got a chance now to win a series in South Africa which is very, very difficult and very, very rare.
“I can assure you everyone is looking at that and no further.
”This could potentially be my 50th time playing and I don’t think I’ve ever learnt more on a tour or with a group of lads.
“For young lads coming in, guys who’ve been around for a while it’s been a great growing experience and we’ve been understanding how to play Test rugby in tough environments.
“Hopefully we can string together a good performance and look at something good.”