Conor Murray must be commended for his honest comments on Leinster 7 months ago

Conor Murray must be commended for his honest comments on Leinster

It was not an easy answer for Conor Murray to give but he did not shirk the task.

When he was up in Dublin - as part of Pinergy's #WeAre16 campaign - Murray spoke extremely well about why he had spurned offers to play Top 14 rugby in France and committed to Munster for three more seasons.

"I grew up here in the academy," he said, "it's the place I want to win, I want to win something.

"I've been saying it for years, every time this crops up, it's 'Oh, we're building something, we're getting there' and then we change coach or something happens or we don't quite perform at the semi-final stage. This year, more than ever - and it might sound like I've said it before - I'm really excited about Munster, really, really excited."

For Murray and Munster, there is a clear standard-bearer and team to aim for - Leinster. The Limerick native spoke with Barry Murphy on Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby [from 20:00 below] and made a commendable admission about the rivalry with the Champions Cup and Guinness PRO14 champions.

Credit: INPHO (Dan Sheridan)

"They're a better team than us," Murray admitted.

"And it's rare that you feel like that. You'll always be like, 'Oh, we should have scored a try there and that would have been it', but they are just a better team at the moment.

"We've been to semi-finals - two semi-finals last year - and we've not been a million miles away. If Leinster were an English team, and we were the best team in Ireland we'd be feeling a lot better, you know what I mean? It's a weird situation. 

"Ultimately, they are driving us on to be better province and to compete. It's so close. So, so close."

Munster have lost seven of their last eight encounters with Leinster, including last season's Guinness PRO14 semi-final, but Murray feels the additions of the likes of Joey Carbery, Tadhg Beirne and Mike Haley will help them greatly this season.

Carbery, Beirne and Haley are all included, with Murray, in a strong Munster team that will take on Leinster at Thomond Park in the Guinness PRO14 this weekend.

*As well as a regular show each Monday, Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby often runs bonus episodes with some of the top names in rugby, such as Conor Murray, Brian O'Driscoll, James Lowe, Jacob Stockdale and more. SUBSCRIBE HERE so you don't miss out.