Conor Murray says that players don’t openly discuss their contract negotiations, but is hopeful that captain Peter O’Mahony will remain with the province for next season.
O’Mahony remains in talks with the IRFU after rejecting an initial two-year contract extension amind confirmed interest from English and French clubs.
Speaking to the media yesterday, the 28-year-old said he expects a decision to be made "one way or another" by the New Year, admitting his ideal course of action would be to remain at Thomond Park for the foreseeable future.
Murray himself signed a new three-year deal last January that will see him remain at Thomond Park through to the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
The Lions scrum-half admitted to feeling "selfishly upset" when Simon Zebo announced he would be leaving at the end of the season and doesn't want to see O’Mahony follow a similar path.
"Losing one friend is tough enough. Hopefully Pete can get sorted," he told RTÉ Radio Sport.
"This time of year these things crop up, rumours start. Now more so than ever you have to start paying attention to the rumours a little bit more, especially for us with Donnacha [Ryan] last season and Zeebs [Zebo] this year.
"Hopefully fingers crossed both parties get everything over the line."
"We don’t talk about contracts. It’s only when we face the media we genuinely talk about it."
O’Mahony said that his decision will be made without any sentiment – "You have got to take yourself away from the emotional attachment and just deal with it from a business point of view" – and Murray admits that it is a subject matter that the players don’t broach with each other.
"We don’t talk about it," he insisted. "We haven’t heard about it [O’Mahony’s decision]. It’s only when we face the media we genuinely talk about it."
The Limerick native was a key part of the Ireland team that claimed clean sweep in the Autumn internationals, while he says the provincial camp is "buzzing" after three Pro14 wins in a row and now preparing for the Champions Cup double header against Leicester Tigers.
The two sides were pitted against each other at the same stage last season, with both tasting victory at home, and the scrum-half is under no illusions as to what to expect from the Aviva Premiership side who currently top Pool 4 on points difference from the two-time European champions.
"We probably play quite similarly. It’s going to be another intense battle. It’s going to be two massive weeks, starting at Thomond.
"You learn a lot about the opposition in the first week. If you can double up and make it two wins, the way it works out it will go a long way to deciding how you progress in the competition
"Last year we got a good win against them at home and then we probably took our eye off the ball a little bit in the away fixture and narrowly missed out."
It will also be a first taste of European rugby for Johann van Graan, whose first game in charge last weekend resulted in a 36-10 win over Ospreys.
"The joking and slagging is a bit different to home!"
Murray has not trained under the South African yet, but after speaking to Van Graan at length following the November victory over South Africa and gauging the opinions of those in the game, is expecting big things from the new head coach.
"It’s really positive so far. He has his own ideas. He’s highly rated. You get that impression of him straight away.
"He understands what we built with Rassie [Erasmus] and Jacques [Nienabar] is really good and he’s of a similar mindset. He’s going to embed his ideas as we go forward.
"He said himself it is going to take him a while to get used to a different group of players, staff, and the joking and slagging is a bit different to home."
Listen to exclusive Champions Cup radio commentary of Exeter v Leinster on RTÉ Radio One’s Sunday Sport programme (kick-off 5.30pm).
Live updates of Munster v Leicester on Saturday (7.35pm) and Sunday’s games featuring Harlequins v Ulster (1pm) and Exeter v Leinster (5.30pm) on RTÉ.ie and the News Now app.