Sunday 19 November 2017

Murphy's Irish days numbered

Geordan Murphy will make a final decision on his Ireland future before next year's Six Nations, but expects to announce his retirement.

The Leicester captain made two appearances at the recent World Cup, lifting his number of caps to 72, and suspects they may be his last outings in the green jersey.

"I haven't made a concrete decision yet but I'm heading that way (retirement)," said the 33-year-old full-back.

"I spoke to (Ireland coach) Declan Kidney at the end of the World Cup. I'm weighing up my options at the moment and I'll probably make a call on it just before the Six Nations."

Several Ireland players have entered the autumn of their careers, among them Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara and Paul O'Connell. Murphy, however, believes a flurry of post-World Cup retirements is unlikely.

"I don't think many of them will hang up their boots," he said. "If you're based in Ireland, you're centrally contracted, so it wouldn't be smart to retire."

Ulster swoop to land Terblanche

Ulster have signed former South Africa star Stefan Terblanche on a short-term three-month contract.

Terblanche, who skippered beaten finalists Sharks in Saturday's Currie Cup final against the Lions, will come in as a temporary replacement for the unfortunate Kiwi Jared Payne, who underwent surgery last week on a ruptured Achilles tendon.

He will be immediately added to Ulster's European roster and the 36-year-old full-back-cum-wing will arrive once he has met UK visa requirements.

Ulster's director of rugby David Humphreys said it was lucky that a player of Terblanche's quality was available. "At this stage in the season with players all under contract, it was always going to be difficult to recruit a high-calibre individual to provide cover for Jared," said Humphreys.

"We're delighted we have been able to convince Stefan not to hang up his boots just yet."

Terblanche won 37 caps for the Springboks and scored four of his 19 international tries on his debut against Ireland in 1998.

Irish Independent

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