Conor Murray believes a mixture of youth and experience the key to Ireland flourishing 9 months ago

Conor Murray believes a mixture of youth and experience the key to Ireland flourishing

Irish Rugby is currently riding the crest of a wave heading into a World Cup year.

It's great to see, but we have been here before.

Ireland entered the 2015 Rugby World Cup coming off back-to-back Six Nations wins. On that occasion we fell to a shock defeat against Argentina after a series of injuries ravaged through the side.

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Given how well the past year has went on an Irish rugby front, many wish that the upcoming World Cup was tomorrow, rather than a whole year away.

Conor Murray was our guest on this week's bonus episode of Baz and Andrew's House of Rugby, and he admitted that people have speculated as to whether the World Cup is too far away to keep the momentum going.

However, the scrum half believes that this current side are only going to grow and grow as the tournament approaches.

"People have said to us before, 'you'd love World Cup to be next month after we beat Australia, you're on such a high'.

"But I think this team will continue to grow, you see the players we brought in during last season and they've just flourished in that environment, and you just want it to last as long as it can.

"People talk about the World Cup and that's hugely exciting."

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Murray is clearly brimming with excitement at the prospect of what this Ireland team can achieve. It's uncharted territory for Irish rugby.

"On our day we can beat anyone, that's a weird thing I find because I have been in Irish squads where, if you said that, people would tear you down straight away.

"Whereas now, you can do it and you've proven it before so why not say it."

Although Ireland have been in a similar position before, things are different now. Teams in the past have relied heavily on marquee players to step up on the big day and carry them over the line.

If you cast your mind back to 2009 - our previous Grand Slam victory before this year - that win against Wales felt like the culmination of years of trying, coupled with years of hurt.

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The 2018 win however, felt more like a coming of age, rather than the pinnacle of a career. Many of Ireland's young guns know nothing but winning.

"It's really enjoyable to be in that group, a certain amount of us have been there a while,

"The likes of James Ryan, Jordan Larmour, Joey Carbery who are just used to winning. They know nothing else,

"So, they come in with Ireland, win a Grand Slam and go 'that was pretty cool'."

Whilst the youngsters know nothing but winning, Ireland still possess some older heads who have gone through bad times in the green jersey.

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For Murray, blending this mixture of youth and experience is exactly what you need.

"The more and more guys like that you can get in and mix it with that... 

"(Rory) Bestie is probably the oldest there and most experienced, you've Johnny (Sexton) and Pete (O'Mahony), and a few more.

"Mixed in with all those young guys, it's the balance you want in a squad."

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The Munster star highlighted new team mate Tadhg Beirne as another player who is now adding even more to this current squad.

"Somebody like Tadhg Beirne who has been incredible for a couple of years, you can see somebody like him adding even more to the squad." Murray said.

"You just know the squad is gonna flourish, you know there's potential for really big days ahead."

Big days ahead... What a time to be an Ireland fan.

Conor Murray was speaking at the announcement of Pinergy's #WeAre16 campaign.