It has been three months since Munster last played a game of Rugby.
Yet, competitive action is on the horizon with the Province poised to resume their season in August with the return of the Pro 14.
For Munster and Limerick scrum half Conor Murray, the lockdown has provided time to ‘refresh’ and ‘flush niggles out of the system’ as he outlined how the last few months have been in a interview with McSports.
“It was a bit of a challenge for most people at the start to get used to the new normal. Not being able to go in an train. I think the main thing was not being able to go in and have the craic with the lads, that’s what I missed most.
“Obviously you’d miss the matches and the atmosphere but your day t day dealings with people was taken away so it took a little bit of time to get used to that but quickly got a schedule and routine in order. I think a lot of people would go mad without a routine but we have been happy in ours.
“I’ve had the outlook that this is an unbelievable time to refresh yourself, if you had any niggles in your body you could completely flush them out of your system,” Murray said in an interview for McSport’s My Motivation series.
“I think the mental side of it is the biggest benefit that I’ve found, just getting away from the game and rebooting yourself.
“I’ve made a whole new list of goals since I’ve had time to sit back. I was looking back at what I’ve done so far in my career and what I want to do for the remainder of it. It’s been really beneficial that way. I know when I get back on day one, I’m going to be really hungry just to train, get back out with the lads and play games.
“Hopefully, it’ll add a year or two at the end of your career. Some southern hemisphere players have taken sabbaticals and this is pretty much one of those.”
And despite the fact that the side cannot train together, Murray has outined how the squad had grouped together to make training from that bit more interactive and ultimately enjoyable.
“At the start it was great to have someone to push you. When you’re running on your own, its harder to be competitive with yourself. Looking forward to going back and racing the lads!
“I like the gym sessions we’ve been doing. We have been getting programmes of Munster. Strength and power. I have a shadow ball, a half rugby ball with a flat end so it will come back to you, so in between sets I get some skill work in as well!
“At the start when we weren’t in full lockdown – when you could have a training partner – that was a lot easier, having someone there to literally catch a ball for you and you can practise your passing and kicking.
“When that got taken away, we got a little bit inventive because keeping your eye in – whether it’s hurling, football or rugby – it’s really important.
“Our backs coach Stephen Larkham along with Mike Pettman, the skills coach in Munster, George Murray, our video analyst, they set up a few skills challenges for us.
“We were all given two tennis balls, a rugby ball. Just keeping hand-eye coordination, passing the ball off the wall, shadow balling and flicking the tennis ball while the ball is in the air. That kept us motivated because they were challenges.
“We all had WhatsApp groups, maybe eight or 10 in a group. We’d do a challenge and send a video of ourselves doing the challenge into the group, which is quite fun. Some lads got it, some lads couldn’t make sense of the description and ended up doing the opposite type of skill work.”
Listen to Murray’s full interview with McSport below!
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