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Conor Murray wary of new-found French unity as Ireland look to end Les Bleus’ dream

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray says France have developed into a ‘unit’ under Fabien Galthie, and are a far more dangerous proposition as a result.

Les Bleus remain in contention for a first Six Nations championship since 2010, and host title rivals Ireland at the Stade de France on Saturday night.

And Murray has been hugely impressed by Galthie’s youth-centric French revolution.

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray says France have developed into a ‘unit’ under Fabien Galthie

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray says France have developed into a ‘unit’ under Fabien Galthie

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray says France have developed into a ‘unit’ under Fabien Galthie

‘Individually they’re really strong,’ said the 31-year old. ‘France have had that in the past but I think now they’re learning to play as a unit. That’s been a real improvement of theirs this season, they’re not just individuals.’

The trademark French flair is as strong as ever in the squad, and something which Murray says Ireland will have to deal with.

‘The French flair is always a threat. We’ve had success against them but they’ve been getting much stronger and they’re a lot harder to break down. If they get in behind you and start free-flowing it’s really dangerous and they’ve got players littered all over their team that can do that — even their forwards.

‘We’re under no illusions over how hard it’s going to be, but we’re confident in our own ability too.’

‘It’s where you want to be, there’s a trophy on the line. Whatever needs to be done come kick-off on Saturday night, we’ll know by then.

The trademark French flair is as strong as ever in the squad ahead of Saturday's showdown

The trademark French flair is as strong as ever in the squad ahead of Saturday's showdown

The trademark French flair is as strong as ever in the squad ahead of Saturday’s showdown

‘It’s an exciting week, one you want to be part of.’

The French pack is set to provide a greater challenge for Ireland forwards than Italy last weekend ago but Murray is conscious of the threat they present from open play.

‘Their forward pack are really strong. Even their forwards are able to play that French flair game with their offloading.

‘If they get in behind you, suddenly they rip on to their back-line and you’re on the back foot.

‘As a whole, I think they know how to play together. Whereas now they have the individuals and a team strength.’

The trademark French ‘flair’ remains a constant threat in their arsenal, something which Murray says Ireland will need to combat.

‘The French flair, I think, is always a threat, always a danger with them.

‘We’ve had success against them in recent times, but over the past year or so they’ve been growing, getting much stronger as a unit.

‘They’re a lot harder to break down. But I think the constant is that flair.

‘It’s trying to contain that and then play your game on the back of it. But that is always the thing with the French. if they get in behind you and start free-flowing it’s really dangerous.

‘They’ve got players littered all over their team that can do that.

‘We’re under no illusions how hard it’s going to be, but I thought we went well at the weekend and we’re confident in our own ability too.

‘It’s where you want to be, there’s a trophy on the line. Whatever needs to be done come kick-off on Saturday night, we’ll know by then.

‘It’s an exciting week, one you want to be part of.’

Source: Daily Mail |NewsColony

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