Lions captaincy brings no guarantee of a start, insists Conor Murray

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Conor Murray in action for the Lions against Japan (Getty Images)
Conor Murray in action for the Lions against Japan (Getty Images)

Conor Murray believes his new status as the Lions tour captain does not guarantee him a start in the Test side to face South Africa next month.

Murray took over as captain when Alun Wyn Jones was ruled out with a dislocated shoulder sustained in the seventh minute of the victory over Japan on Saturday.

Scrum-half Murray, a three-time Lions tourist, is competing with Welshman Gareth Davies and Scotland’s Ali Price for the No9 Test jersey, but says he will take nothing for granted.

“It doesn’t mean that for a minute,” he said, when asked if the captaincy made him a guaranteed starter. “I think that’s completely separate. We’ve seen it before on Lions tours, where captains haven’t started.

“That’s why I feel really strongly that I have to remain myself and keep doing what I’m doing because the aim is to be in contention for the Test day squad, and play in the test matches.

“That’s what makes this whole tour so special, having been on them before. Playing in the Tests is what it’s all about, and what everyone is still trying to do. Not for a second do I think that’s a given now. If anything, you want to really make sure you’re on top of your game and playing as well as you can.”

Murray said the three scrum-halves were jostling hard for places. Murray started against Japan at Murrayfield, with Price coming off the bench. Warren Gatland said all players will get a start in the first three matches, meaning Davies or Price will start when the Lions play the Lions of Gauteng this Saturday.

“It’s been brilliant so far,” he said. “I’ve played against Ali a good few times and I know Gareth from the last [Lions] tour, when he came out.

“There’s a huge respect between the three of us, I think. We have been really open with each other in terms of calls we use with our clubs and countries, and we’ve been open enough to share them. I think that’s really important. We’ve been staying behind doing a few extras.

“We are all gunning to play the big games, but we are all trying to make each other better, push each other along, and I think that’s going to be good for the squad. You can see that in the other groups, the out halves and the centres. Everyone has brought into this and sees we need to help each other along.

“It’s been great so far. I’m sure once we get closer to the big games it’ll heat up, but that’s what you want. You don’t want to have it too laid back around each other. We are all here trying to get a jersey.”

Read More

Lions squad hit by emergency lockdown in South Africa

Warren Gatland rues Alun Wyn Jones injury with British & Lions captain out of South Africa tour

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting