WITH the prospect of only a fourth-ever Grand Slam very much alive following the gripping defeat of France, the thoughts of the Ireland team switched to wishing Gerry Murray a full recovery following serious injuries he sustained in a road traffic accident.
His son Conor was an integral part of the landmark win at the Aviva Stadium.
Paying tribute the the Patrickswell man’s contribution, team captain Johnny Sexton said: “It’s a mark of the character of a player, who in my eyes, has always been a class operator.
“He’s always been world-class in his position. He changed the game, in many ways, for scrum-halves. It’s amazing, really, that he could show up today and be so calm, and put in the performance that he did.”
He was replaced after 56 minutes by Craig Casey who enhanced his top tier reputation with an assured performance when the French pressure was at its height.
Dave Kilcoyne was introduced to win his 50th Test Cap when he replaced Andrew Porter in the 69th minute.
It’s over ten years since the 34-year-old loosehead prop made his debut against South Africa.
Ahead of the Kilcoyne’s milestone achievement, coach Andy Farrell joked about his longevity on the international stage. “David Kilcoyne… to have the resilience to hang in there. I know that he’s 42 but the resilience he has shown to take a few setbacks and keep on fighting and come back stronger each and every time says a hell of a lot about him.”
He added: “To be so consistent, to get to 50 caps at that age, says a lot about how much the game means to him, how much it means to play for Ireland. I think it’s a phenomenal achievement.”