Conor Murray has the perfect attitude about his Lions captaincy honour 10 months ago

Conor Murray has the perfect attitude about his Lions captaincy honour

The second St Munchin's graduate, after Keith Wood, to captain the Lions.

The British & Irish Lions squad will fly out to South Africa this afternoon with their new captain, Conor Murray, still getting his head around a whirlwind 24 hours.

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Murray was named the new Lions tour captain after Alun Wyn Jones was ruled out of the rest of the tour. The Wales veteran was replaced by Adam Beard after dislocating his shoulder in a 28-10 win over Japan. The injured Justin Tipuric has also been replaced by his Wales teammate Josh Navidi.

Murray has never captained at Test level before, but Warren Gatland has seen something in him that made his mind up. Iain Henderson, Ken Owens and Owen Farrell have all captained their countries before, but Murray was given the role.

"I still don't have my head around it but it's something that's an unbelievable honour," Murray commented. "It's something I never thought would be possible.

"What puts me at ease is that we have such a good leadership group that it means I can continue being myself. There will be a bit more responsibility, but I don't think it should change anything around the camp.

"That's one of the most important things - that I remain myself and I assume that's why Warren asked me to do it."

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Murray has come up, with Munster and Ireland, under captains such as Peter O'Mahony and Paul O'Connell, who both led the Lions. He paid tribute to those leaders as he prepared to set off for South Africa.

"Your messaging has to be well thought out... In my career I suppose when I do speak it's thought out. It might not be that often but it definitely has meaning and there's thought behind it, and a genuineness to it.

"I've been lucky enough to experience a lot of leaders and they always bring it back to who you're trying to make proud and what you're here for. Driving that message is important."

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