Conor Murray defends Bundee Aki from 'unfair abuse'

Conor Murray has defended Bundee Aki's inclusion in this year's international squad saying Aki has done nothing wrong.

Neil Francis believes his inclusion is "fundamentally wrong" and doesn't respect the integrity of international rugby.

The powerful centre was named in the squad having qualified through the residency rule and Murray has jumped to his defence.

Bundee Aki and CJ Stander at Ireland training. Pic: INPHO/Billy Stickland

“It’s tough on a player like that,” he said.

“He came over here and played rugby and has qualified for Ireland in the right way. I know people have different opinions on that but if you’re just looking at calling a player and singling a player out like that, and giving someone abuse or a hard time about it, I think it’s really unfair.

“Bundee hasn’t done anything wrong. He has come into the squad, he’s a bubbly guy, he has lots of character and he’s working really hard. And he’s an awesome player. For us, we’re lucky to have him in our squad. It’s definitely unfair for someone to receive that heat off the media when he hasn’t done anything wrong.

“He just loves playing rugby and he’s looking to get the opportunities. Hopefully he’ll get one, show people how good he is and quieten people.”

More in this Section

England rugby star Danny Cipriani ‘truly sorry’ after fracas at Jersey bar

Cipriani ‘truly sorry’ for scuffle that leaves his England future in doubt

Patrick Roberts joins Girona on loan from Manchester City

Sugrue and O'Keeffe to lead Munster into Interprovincial Championships

Today's Stories

Horgan may still miss out despite move

People forget Galway are at least four years into their curve

Life’s a beach for new Limerick generation

Why Limerick may have to lose one to win one

More From The Irish Examiner