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Warriors new boy Murray earns Scottish plaudits
6:00pm Thursday 15th November 2012 in Warriors By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
SCOTLAND head coach Andy Robinson believes Warriors tighthead Euan Murray (pictured right) is his country’s most formidable scrummager.
The prop, who officially became a Worcester player this week after completing a spell on loan with French club Agen from Newcastle Falcons, lines up against South Africa at Murrayfield tomorrow.
Murray, a devout Christian, missed last Sunday’s 51-22 defeat to New Zealand because of his religious beliefs but will replace Edinburgh’s Geoff Cross in the starting XV for the clash with the Springboks.
“I still feel that Euan’s our best tighthead prop, our most powerful scrummager,” Robinson said. “We’re up against a powerful South African pack. Just with the turnaround that we had, I felt it was right that Euan got the start.”
Murray declined to comment on whether Robinson did approach him about playing against the All Blacks, but complimented Cross on his performance. The Edinburgh tighthead and Murray have often swapped places.
Cross played the Sunday fixtures with Wales and France after Murray began the 2012 RBS 6 Nations against England.
Cross retained his place against Ireland and Italy, with Murray on the bench, before the latter returned to start all three wins against Australia, Fiji and Samoa in June.
Murray said: “Geoff’s a good player and over the last 12 months or so sometimes he’s started and sometimes I’ve started.
“It’s really up to the selectors.”
Although the 47-times capped prop has been selected for his set-piece ability, Murray insists scrum performance is dependent on the performance of all eight members of the pack.
He added: “It’s not an individual in a scrum, it’s the whole scrum.
“If we do our jobs, all eight of us at the weekend, then hopefully we’ll have success.”