Munster and Ireland scrum-half, Conor Murray, has admitted that rumours that he failed a drugs test last season “hurt” both him and his family.
Murray missed the start of the 2018/2019 season due to a neck injury that he sustained during Ireland’s tour of Australia last summer. The decision to withhold information on his recovery led to rumours surrounding the nature of the injury.
The British & Irish Lion was giving a motivational talk to members of Limerick’s Defence Forces this week when he opened up about the stories that emerged following the injury, and how they affected him.
“The toughest part of this was the outside rumours that my friends and family would hear.”
“Crazy stuff that I’d failed all sorts of drugs tests and they were just keeping it under wraps and letting me serve my ban. That kind of hurt a little bit,” he was quoted as saying in the Limerick Leader.
In October, Murray put rumours that the injury may lead to his retirement to bed by signing a new contract with Munster that will see him remain with the province until 2022.
The 29-year-old maintained that the support of his teammates was crucial in getting through the difficult period.
“You hear a lot of players saying they don’t read the media or look at Twitter, but you can’t avoid it. If you don’t see it on your phone, your friends will say it back to you and it will affect you somehow.”
“It was the unity of my team. Munster would hear the same rumours and on Monday morning, they’d be slagging me about it, and make light of it straight away.”
“Having a good team around you and a good head space is really important. It helps me.”
Murray made his return to competitive action when he featured in his side’s PRO14 encounter with November.
He is expected to retain his spot for tomorrow night’s Heineken Champions Cup clash with Gloucester in Kingsholm Stadium.