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Conor Murray sees positives in defeat to England

Conor Murray has insisted that Ireland would love to play England again, despite losing to them for the fourth time in-a-row last Saturday.

Murray and co. were comfortably beaten by the English at Twickenham thanks to a ferocious defensive performance from the hosts.

Ireland started the match poorly, finding themselves down by 12 points roughly 20 minutes in after two tries from prolific England winger, Jonny May.

However, they did improve as the match progressed and the long-serving scrum-half  believes his side weren’t far off their opponents.

“If we had taken one or two of our opportunities [things could have been different]. We did the hard work and got to within five metres out or whatever – then the game is up in the air as to who gets the win.

“So in terms of that alone there’s belief and then in terms of the general feeling leaving Twickenham this time, having not taken a couple of opportunities and having given away a couple of easy scores if you will, then there’s huge belief,” Murray explained.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was quite positive following his side’s defeat and according to Murray, that positivity is apparent throughout the whole squad.

“And that’s without going into the feeling in the squad. There’s an unbelievable atmosphere in terms of growth and mindset and things like that, and the excitement of youth and experience.

“I think lads in the dressing room will be dying to get another chance at this England team. They’re a really good side and there’s a lot of respect there but I think we’ll be really eager to play them again,” Murray said.

“I thought it was a lot better than we have done”

Since Ireland clinched the Grand Slam at Twickenham in 2018, the men in green have only experienced disappointment at the home of English rugby.

They were annihilated in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in 2019, losing by 42 points, and were beaten by 12 in this year’s Six Nations on a day where the scoreline flattered Ireland.

While they never truly looked like beating England in their Autumn Nations Cup encounter, the Munster man felt that the side had made significant improvements.

“Maybe I’m biased or just protecting my teammates but I thought it was a lot better than we have done here,” Murray said.

Ireland return to the Aviva Stadium this Sunday to take on Georgia at 2pm in the next round of the Autumn Nations Cup.

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