Monday, December 16, 2019

Niall Murray celebrates with Robin Copeland following Connacht’s famous win against Gloucester in Galway on Saturday last. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Brideswell’s Niall Murray made a remarkable impact on his senior debut for Connacht rugby as he came off the bench to be part of the team’s incredible last-ditch heroics against Gloucester in Galway on Saturday afternoon.

Murray, who has received international recognition at Ireland U-18, Ireland U-20 and Ireland Clubs level, was promoted from the Academy squad to take his place on the bench for the crucial Champions Cup pool game against the English side, and he was introduced after 70 minutes into the second row, with Shane Delahunt (hooker) and Robin Copeland (number eight) also bolstering the pack at that stage.

Delahunt and Copeland went on to score the tries that turned a 24-13 deficit into a 27-24 win, a result that keeps Connacht’s hopes of qualification out of Pool Five alive — albeit very slim hopes, with big wins over Toulouse and Montpellier likely to be needed in January.

This appearance in such a crucial fixture is the latest step in Murray’s development, and he’ll hope to go on competing with players like Joe Maksymiw, Quinn Roux, Gavin Thornberry and Ultan Dillane in a bid to become a regular feature in the second row for the western province.


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