Oh Jordi! Irish star's relief as fan gives back lost Six Nations medal
Published 21/03/2014 | 02:30
It was his first season playing for his country as well as his first Six Nations – and rugby star Jordi Murphy has an adoring young fan to thank for the safe return of his first championship medal.
The Leinster and Ireland player generously handed over his travelling hoodie to a supporter who turned out at Dublin airport to welcome home Joe Schmidt's victorious side from Paris last weekend.
The team arrived home to tumultuous applause on Sunday.
The players spent a considerable amount of time signing autographs and posing for pictures with the hundreds that waited in the arrivals hall to see their heroes.
Unnoticed at the time by the 22-year-old, who made his international debut at Twickenham last month, Murphy's prized medal, which he received after Ireland beat France, was in the pocket of the hoodie that he gave to the fan.
Murphy told of his delight when the boy and his family made sure to see the medal was returned to its rightful owner, within minutes of noticing what the flanker had done.
"To win a first Six Nations medal is obviously a very special moment for me, my family, friends and club, so you can imagine my reaction when I realised what had happened," he said.
"I'm delighted it has been sorted and the medal is now safely stored at home. I won't let it out of my sight for a while," he said.
The Six Nations celebrations came to a halt this week, as a few of the Irish team were back in training for Leinster's RaboDirect Pro12 fixture in the RDS tonight, against Zebre, from Italy, including Murphy.
Meanwhile, the team will get a state reception in Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, next Wednesday at 2pm.
Sports and Tourism Minister Michael Ring said: "The Government are very happy to honour the Irish team for their great achievement in winning the Six Nations Rugby Championship last week."