Conor Murray has revealed he was shocked to be included in a British and Irish Lions squad for a third time.
Ireland scrum-half Murray has toured Australia and New Zealand with the Lions already and will play with the best of Britain and Ireland again in this summer’s tour of South Africa.
The experienced Ireland international was tipped by many to receive a third call-up by Warren Gatland but Murray admitted there was still plenty of doubt in his mind before the official squad announcement.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) May 21, 2021
“Very shocked. You obviously think you’re in with a shout but I suppose as the time comes closer and the announcement dragged on there were people chatting and being interviewed before and I was just hoping to get it over with,” Murray explained.
“Be in or out, just get it over with. But it dragged on and in the time leading up to it doubt starts to creep in a little bit, no matter how much you think you have a chance, there’s always that chance that it might not go to plan.
“I’m over the moon. It’s an incredible feeling. A bit of relief because your family are on to you wondering have you heard anything and you’re sick of telling them you don’t know. You find out along with everyone else.”
Battle for the Lions number nine jersey.
Murray had a disrupted Six Nations championship with Ireland this year, having played in just two matches due to an injury he sustained in the opening game against Wales.
The Munster man was available for the game against Scotland but Ireland head coach Andy Farrell opted to start Jamison Gibson-Park instead, and decided not to spring Murray from the bench.
The Limerick native was reinstated as Ireland’s starting scrum-half in the final game against England, which ended in a convincing 32-18 win for Farrell’s side.
Only one player has scored more tries in the @PRO14Official than Conor Murray this season 🦁
Learn more about the 2021 Lions Squad below#LionsRugby
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) May 21, 2021
Murray will be joined by Wales’ Gareth Davies and Scotland’s Ali Price in the battle for the the Lions’ number nine shirt this summer, both of whom have never played with the touring side before.
The Irishman has played in five test matches for the Lions already and will hope that his experience will see him selected ahead of his rivals against the Springboks this summer.