/ Six Nations 2014

Spirits high in Irish camp, insists Conor Murray

Updated: Friday, 22 Feb 2013 10:54 | Comments

Conor Murray says Ireland are in a 'good place'
Conor Murray says Ireland are in a 'good place'

Conor Murray insists Ireland are in a "good place" despite experiencing contrasting emotions after two rounds of their RBS 6 Nations campaign.

An encouraging opening-day victory over Wales was followed by an error-strew display of tactical naivety in losing 12-6 to England, a result that has transformed Sunday's clash with Scotland into a must-win encounter.

Injury and suspension is undermining what is a critical Six Nations in the reign of head coach Declan Kidney, whose contract expires after the tournament.

Murray, who will be winning his 17th cap on Sunday, insists spirits remain high.

"The atmosphere is good. It was tough to lose to England at home, but overall there's a good positive vibe around the camp," the Munster scrum-half said.

"One loss doesn't suddenly turn you into a bad team. We've been playing quite well. We're in a good place.

"It was a hard defeat to take because it was a tight game. When we took it back to 6-6 it could have gone either way.

"One loss doesn't suddenly turn you into a bad team. We've been playing quite well. We're in a good place." - Conor Murray.

"But we want to forget about England and concentrate on playing Scotland with a lot of confidence, like we should do.

"There are a few injuries but that means there will be some new faces in the squad, which is exciting.

"You try not to have injuries but they're part and parcel of the game. The players coming in have been around the squad a while and have fitted in seamlessly."

Ireland have won on their last five trips to Edinburgh in the Six Nations with Scotland's only victory in the fixture arriving at Croke Park in 2010.

Kidney has selected uncapped Ulster duo Paddy Jackson and Luke Marshall at fly-half and inside centre respectively to replace the injured Jonathan Sexton and Gordon D'Arcy.

Meanwhile, Ireland and Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris has suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle problem which has seen him ruled out since November.

The 27-year-old underwent surgery in December after he sustained tendon damage to his ankle during Ulster's RaboDirect Pro12 match against Edinburgh.

Ferris had expected to be back in contention next month, but Ulster yesterday confirmed his comeback has been delayed after his recovery was reviewed earlier this week.

A statement on the club's official website said: "It was discovered that, although Stephen has made excellent progress in his recovery, some minor issues remain.

"As a result, the specialist medical-staff treating Stephen are considering several options to ensure that he makes a full and complete return to play.

"A decision on a course of action will be made in the coming weeks."

Live RBS 6 Nations coverage on RTÉ Two from 2pm on Saturday 23 February and 1.15pm on Sunday 24 February (Scotland v Ireland). Live streaming Ireland only.

Live radio coverage of Scotland v Ireland on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 from 1.50pm. Live streaming available worldwide.

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