Sunday 21 January 2018

'I've loved my time here' - Leinster confirm Jordi Murpy will join Ulster next season

Jordi Murphy. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Jordi Murphy. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Leinster have confirmed the news that Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy will join provincial rivals Ulster next season.

Murphy has seen himself fall down the pecking order at Leinster after returning from the serious knee injury he suffered in the historic win over the All Blacks in Chicago.

Sean O'Brien, Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan all stand between Murphy and a starting berth.

The 26-year-old back row has played 95 times for Leinster scoring 17 tries since his debut in September 2011.

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie this morning, Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen said, "Jordi is a hugely talented player and a very popular member within our squad.

"It is to his enormous credit that he has come back as strong as he has from his knee injury last year in Ireland's famous win over the All Blacks in Chicago.

"We respect Jordi's decision to move and everyone at Leinster wishes him the very best with his future.”

For his part Murphy said, "I've loved my time at Leinster and have made friendships that will last a lifetime. Having attended Leinster games in Donnybrook and in the RDS, it was a dream to play for Leinster and to run out as often as I have done in front of such brilliant support is something that I am very proud of.

"The messages that I received from Leinster fans in the last 12 months, in particular, I'll never forget.

"But after long consideration and at this stage in my career, this move to Ulster is an exciting challenge and one that I am very much looking forward to. Having spoken to Les and to Jono the future for Ulster is very bright and I look forward to playing my part in that.

"Of course until then, all my efforts will my geared towards helping Isa and the rest of the squad achieve as much as we can on two fronts with Leinster.”

Ulster Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, commented: "Jordi has been on our radar for the past 12 months and it took a lot of hard work between his agent and Bryn (Cunningam, Operations Director, Ulster Rugby) to get this completed. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of interest in Jordi and we are really pleased that he has chosen to ply his trade here in Belfast.

"The acquisition of Jordi for next season is great news for everyone connected with Ulster Rugby and I believe this move will greatly benefit both parties.

"He's an extremely talented player; an explosive runner and a nuisance at the breakdown, while his versatility allows him to play across the back row. At 26 years of age, we believe Jordi has the potential to play the best rugby of his career at Ulster and that is a hugely exciting prospect.

"As injuries are becoming increasingly common in the modern game, it's imperative that we continue to expand the playing resources we have available. With Marty (Moore) also on board, plus the return to fitness of Marcell Coetzee, we have added some much-needed depth to our pack for next season.

"The increased investment in our Academy forwards is starting to pay off and five of those in our current system - Nick Timoney, Adam McBurney, Aaron Hall, Greg Jones and Matthew Dalton - have played for the senior team already this season. That's another positive sign for the future of rugby in Ulster."

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