Limerick’s run to this month’s All-Ireland hurling final received some help from Munster and Ireland rugby star Keith Earls, team-mate Conor Murray has revealed.
Hurling fan Murray was in Croke Park last Sunday as his native county came from behind against Cork to win the All-Ireland SHC semi-final in extra time. Speaking at Munster’s kit launch yesterday in Cork’s Fota Island Resort, the Ireland and Lions scrum-half from Patrickswell was asked yesterday what advice he would give the hurlers ahead of their final showdown with either Galway or Clare on August 19.
“I would be asking them how to get past a semi-final first,” Murray joked, referring to Munster’s twin defeats in the last four of competitions last season. “Earlsy was out chatting to them actually. They have linked into that a little bit.
“I’d just chat about whatever questions they ask me and how to prepare.
“Don’t try and do anything different. These are cliché things, because that is what they are and because that is what works in those games.
“They look like a team that are completely comfortable. They look like a team that didn’t get bogged down by the occasion last week and that was the fear with Limerick going to Croke Park for years. They seem to have a grasp on that. Earlsy is doing a good job with that.”
Murray, who with his fellow Ireland internationals began integrating into Munster’s pre-season training last Monday after a five-week summer break, was delighted to go into camp having witnessed a Limerick victory as the county booked a first hurling final spot since 2007. His own hurling career, though, was short-lived.
“I played U21 at 16,” he said before adding: “I was useless. They had a panel of about 30 players and I didn’t get on. I played until I was about 16, but I prefered Gaelic football, but Patrickswell was a hurling village.
“Hurling is one of the best sports in the world to watch.
“I played hurling as a youngster and some of the Patrickswell young fellas were playing last weekend, so it was great to go up and see them do well.