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Six Nations Tournament: Euan Murray, the Scottish international who never played on Sundays

Every Sunday in the Regional, your winger, as unpredictable on the field as off it, decides not to play.

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Six Nations Tournament: Euan Murray, the Scottish international who never played on Sundays

Every Sunday in the Regional, your winger, as unpredictable on the field as off it, decides not to play. The reason ? Grandfather's birthday (tenth in the year). And sometimes, from time to time, the famous cousin's wedding. All reasons are good not to play on a Sunday.

But at a professional level, it's difficult to imagine this, obviously. Except for one player, now retired, Scottish international Euan Murray (43). The former pillar who played through Agen (2012) and Pau (2015-2016), among others, never played on Sundays for religious reasons. For Le Figaro, the Scotsman spoke before the meeting between the XV du Chardon and the XV de France this Saturday (3:15 p.m.) at Murrayfield.

Euan Murray will have had a busy sporting career. Passed through Glasgow, Northampton, Newcastle, Agen, Worcester and even Pau, the former star of the Scottish scrum has 66 caps with Chardon. A solid guy (1m88, 118kg), this son of teachers has never played a match on Sunday, at the highest level. And the reason is simple: “After I became a Christian, my conscience stopped me.” Murray has never been an exception. A faithful among the faithful. “Jesus Christ gave me a new heart, forgave me all my sins and granted me eternal life,” he tells us. The end of his career in 2016 changed nothing for the Glasgow native. He regularly goes to church with his family and friends for sincere and meaningful moments.

In his career, the Scot has traveled. His country, of course, at the start of his career, before spending seven years in England. In the East first, with Northampton then in the West near Worcester. To his credit, two World Cups, those of 2007 and 2011 before a stint in France with Agen in 2012 as a medical joker. “I loved my life in France! Especially with my friends but also... porcini mushrooms!”, remembers the person concerned. The former international pillar also made a second adventure in the Top 14, this time in Pau. A choice which was not influenced by the proximity to Lourdes, the “city of miracles”. “I wanted to live in the south of France and the Section Paloise offered me a great opportunity. We lived in the village of Bougarber and loved it. We loved our neighbors, the countryside and the view of the Pyrenees.”

Far from the Pyrenees, the former international pillar now resides in Maryland, in the United States. A brilliant student, he graduated in 2003 – before starting professional rugby – from the school of veterinary medicine at the University of Glasgow. He now runs a veterinary practice, the “Great Scottie”. In the meantime, the former Palois and Agenais had offered his services as a coach. “I have had the privilege of helping coach the US Naval Academy scrum for the past two seasons...”

Euan Murray always keeps a keen eye on rugby and will inevitably be behind his TV to see the XV du Chardon face the XV de France this Saturday. “I was very happy to see them win against Wales (26-27) last week! A very exciting but stressful match at the end... The Scottish defense must be at its best this Saturday against France. With players like Thomas Ramos and Damian Penaud in the backline…Scotland will have to be ruthless for 80 minutes!”

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