A look at Munster’s Lions

After months and months of speculation, 41 men were named yesterday to represent the British and Irish Lions this summer in their tour of New Zealand. Whilst there were some notable absentees, the squad assembled is one of the largest and indeed strongest ever.

In total, 11 Irish men were chosen by Warran Gatland. Leinster have 5 players in Jack McGrath, Tadgh Furlong, Sean O’Brien, Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw. Iain Henderson, Rory Best and somewhat unexpectedly Jared Payne were chosen from Ulster. For Munster Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander were selected.

For seven of these men, it will be their first time touring. Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton, Rory Best and Sean O’Brien all travelled to Australia in 2013.

Below we will profile the three Munster men selected.

CJ Stander

Age: 26

Height: 1.88m (6’2”)

Weight: 114kg (17st 13lbs)

Irish Caps: 15

Stander will embark on his first Lions tour after qualifying for Ireland prior to the Six Nations in 2016. Has been a key man for Munster in recent years, operating at No. 8 for the province and regularly leads carries charts with his immense work rate. Always seems to gain yards with each of his carries. For Ireland has operated mainly at blindside and has performed admirably, being nominated for Player of the Championship in each of his two seasons. Played as No. 8 for Ireland against England with Peter O’Mahony slotting in at 6 and was one of the main reasons why Ireland were able to defeat Eddie Jones’ men. Faces fierce competition in the back line but his versatility as well as experience of beating the All Black should see him start come the first test.

CJ Stander Lions mugshot

Peter O’Mahony

Age: 27

Height: 1.91m (6’3”)

Weight: 106kg (16st 9lbs)

Caps: 40

Despite only playing one game in the Six Nations due to injury, O’Mahony’s immense class was obvious. He gave an exhibition of play in that game against England and subsequently won man of the match. O’Mahony is a cult hero in Munster and has been for quite a while. A brilliant line out option, with a turn of pace and good rucking ability. O’Mahony’s leadership and passion set him out from others. Has shown excellent form for Munster since his return from injury, and Gatland had no choice but to include the Munster skipper. Is an excellent figure to have on the tour regardless of whether he starts the tests or not. As Will Greenwood once said, “If all the wild horsemen of the apocalypse came around the corner O’Mahony would charge straight back at them.” Should Billy Vunipola start at No.8, O’Mahony will fight it out with fellow Munster man CJ Stander for the blindside berth.

Conor Murray

Lions caps: 2

Age: 28

Height: 1.88m (6’2’’)

Weight: 95kg (14st 13lbs)

Irish Caps: 58

Since his Irish debut in 2011, Murray is yet to take a backward step in International Rugby. His game has reached new heights in the past 18 months and he is the in form scrum half in the world, bar none. Incredible passing and kicking ability, Murray’s physicality make him a massive danger anywhere near the try line. In 2013 Murray travelled as third choice scrum half, yet by the end he was arguably first choice. If there were a fourth test, Murray would have started. This time around there is no doubt that Murray is the number one scrum-half. However, has struggled to shake off a shoulder and neck injury suffered against Wales in March which is a huge concern for Gatland and also for Muntser who face Champions Cup and Pro 12 semi finals. His finest hour for Ireland came in Soldiers Field as he was instrumental in overturning the reigning back-to-back World Champions. His partnership with Johnny Sexton is crucial to the Lions cause.

conor murray

Social Sharing

Posted in

Squad Update | Fresh injury blow for Simon Zebo while Conor Murray and Mike Haley return to the fold this week

Munster completed back-to-back victories in the URC for the first time this season when they beat Edinburgh last ...
Read More

Young Munster claim Limerick bragging rights as UL Bohs fall in Women’s AIL semi-final | AIL Round Up

It was a mixed weekend for the Limerick sides in the AIL with Young Munster earning the bragging ...
Read More

HIGHLIGHTS | Munster complete epic comeback against Edinburgh to seal consecutive URC victories

It's the first time this season that the province have completed back-to-back wins in the United Rugby Championship. ...
Read More

“We’re gradually putting ourselves in a better position” | Andi Kyriacou and Calvin Nash look ahead to Edinburgh clash on Friday

Munster chalked up their third win of the 2022/23 URC campaign last weekend in their Interpro derby with ...
Read More

TEAM | Rowntree makes five changes for team to face Edinburgh in URC

There are five personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that secured a bonus-point win against ...
Read More

Young Munster drawn against Cork Constitution in BOI Munster Senior Challenge Cup semi-final

Both of the semi-finals will take place in less than three weeks time on Saturday 17th of December ...
Read More

Squad Update | Mike Haley ruled out for Edinburgh with Jack Crowley awaiting a lower leg scan

Munster will look to get back to winning ways this weekend after beating Connacht in Thomond Park last ...
Read More

Division 1A joy for Young Munster and Shannon in Energia AIL | Round-Up

There were wins for three of the six Limerick outfits in their respective AIL divisions this weekend. Young ...
Read More