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Conor Murray delighted to clinch new deal

By DUNCAN BECH

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray has agreed a new two-year contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union that ties him to Munster until June 2016.

The 24-year-old has rejected approaches from the Top 14 to remain at home in a deal funded by the IRFU, the governing body has announced.

Murray made two Test appearances during the British and Irish Lions' victorious tour to Australia and has won 22 caps for Ireland since making his debut in 2011.

"I'm thrilled to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing my rugby with Munster," Murray said.

"In 2013 I learned a lot as a player with my club, Ireland and the Lions and I hope to continue to develop and push for honours over the coming years," he commented.

Murray made his senior debut for Munster against Connacht in 2010 after graduating from the academy and has since made 49 appearances.

"Conor has illustrated in recent months the value he brings not only to Munster, but also to the national team," Munster coach Rob Penney said.

"At 24 he is still a young guy and he has the potential to go on to become one of the best scrum-halves in the game," explained Penney.

Murray staying in Ireland is a boost for the IRFU after his international half-back partner Jonathan Sexton switched to Racing Metro in France earlier this year.

Murray is a doubt for Munster's Heineken Cup showdown against Perpignan in France on Saturday afternoon after sustaining suspected knee ligament damage in Sunday's 36-8 win over the French outfit.

Connacht will look to repeat Sunday's stunning win away to Toulouse when they host the French outfit, while Leinster take on Northampton in Dublin, both games on Saturday.

Connacht coach Pat Lam said: "This will be a big effort. They'll come to us fired up."

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