Murphy says he's happy to be Leinster's Mr Versatile

Des Berry

LEINSTER loose forward Jordi Murphy would gladly "play hooker if they want me to play hooker" in his search for greater game time.

Once again, he showed his broad skills set at number eight in a try-scoring performance against Cardiff Blues in the PRO12 League last Friday night.

Twenty-one-year-old Murphy made his Leinster debut in September 2011, running up six caps – one as a starter and five from the bench.

The next goal was to become a regular. He has already doubled his appearances to 12 this season, culminating in his second try for Leinster at The Arms Park. The first also came against the Cardiff side in October.

"I have got the opportunities. That is what every player wants. I am happy with how things are going. They can always get better," he said.

It is one thing to get an opportunity; another to take it. Wing Andrew Conway's recent decision to fly the nest for Munster came as a shock to Murphy.

"I have been playing with him since he was about nine years of age. It was a surprise to hear that," he said, while indicating how there will be an announcement about his own future soon.

Murphy's versatility across the breadth of the back row puts him in position to play when an opening arrives due to injury or the Six Nations.

"It has been great. It is one of my strengths that I can play six, seven and eight. I like seven, but I am a big fan of eight as well."

Leinster will host Benetton Treviso on Saturday, The Scarlets on Saturday week and travel to the Dragons the following Friday for what is a real moving period in the season.

"We have a block of four weeks. That was the first of four games during the Six Nations period. It is really up to us, the young lads, to step up and keep in contention for when they (Ireland internationals) come back," Murphy added.

"The next three weeks are vital for us. You've just got to stay in the pack. Ulster are a few points ahead. Besides that, it is very tight between second and sixth. We have to try and get that home semi-final."