Monday 24 September 2018

Leinster's gesture to the departing Jordi Murphy proves why they have returned to European summit

Isa Nacewa, Jordi Murphy and Jonathan Sexton of Leinster lift the trophy following the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Isa Nacewa, Jordi Murphy and Jonathan Sexton of Leinster lift the trophy following the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jordi Murphy will not be a part of Leinster's drive to become the only five-time European champions next season but his team mates made sure that his exploits this season were fully appreciated.

The Spanish-born number 8 lifted the Champions Cup trophy aloft alongside skipper Isa Nacews in Bilbao yesterday after Leinster had edged out Racing 92 in an epic arm wrestle.

Nacewa explained afterwards how the rest of the squad wanted to pay homage to Murphy with the special gesture.

“Jordi has been phenomenal,” he said.

“He’s such a dedicated player, he plays with his heart on his sleeve and he has given it his all.

“It’s pretty fitting for him to have an outstanding campaign and it’s just good that he lifts the trophy. He has been in the centre of it all, right in the mix of things throughout the whole campaign.

“It was a good way for him to sign off on his European honours with Leinster.

“Maybe he’s going to be back some day.”

When Jordi Murphy announced his move to Ulster next season back in December he was down the pecking order at Leinster but injuries to the likes of Sean O'Brien, Josh van der Flier and Rhys Ruddock catapulted him back into action and he has been in stellar form in recent months.

Nacewa's act of kindness illustrates the togetherness that has been built by Stuart Lancaster and Leo Cullen and that stood to them in difficult conditions during yesterday's 15-12 win.

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