Munster's Conor Murray eyes rare trip into the West

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster's Conor Murray eyes rare trip into the West

Munster scrum-half Conor Murray pictured ahead of Friday night's PRO14 clash with Connacht

SCRUM-HALF Conor Murray is set for a rare trip to the Sportsground this Friday in a playing capacity as Munster face Connacht in a crucial Guinness PRO14 interprovincial clash, 7.35pm.

Murray set Munster on their way to a precious Champions Cup victory over Racing 92 at Thomond Park on Saturday night when striking for the game’s opening try just after the hour mark.

Munster return to the bread-and-butter of the PRO14 this Friday with Murray in their squad. The Patrickswell man has missed out on the majority of the away fixtures with Connacht in recent years as they have tended to be staged at a time when he is unavailable for selection due to the IRFU’s player management programme.

While Munster are set to lose Murray’s high profile team mate Simon Zebo at the end of the season, the scrum half, who would command an enormous salary in France or England given his profile in the world game, is set to remain at the province until the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2019 at least after signing a three-year-deal in January 2016.

Munster have won 25 of their last 30 meetings with Connacht. However, both sides have recorded three wins each in their last six fixtures in the PRO14.

Conor Murray said: “I’ve played two or three times up there (Sportsground). Once it was really windy and rainy and the second time I played there was towards the end of the season and it was quite a nice day and they turned us over that day up there so they are a team that can play any weather conditions.

”I know it’s quite well known for being windy and rainy and it probably will be this weekend going by the time of year.

”They’re going really well, especially after a few European wins. With a new coach coming in, it’s always going to be difficult to continue that momentum but we know they have got really good players and not many of their players have changed so once they start clicking like they have done in their European run they’re a force to be reckoned with.”

While Munster sit second in Conference A of the PRO14 with four wins from six, Connacht have won just one of their opening games.