Sunday 21 January 2018

Murphy: I'm beginning to feel at home in a green jersey

Jordi Murphy arrives for squad training
Jordi Murphy arrives for squad training
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

A Six Nations medal in your debut season as a full international is not to be scoffed at but when you only played 13 minutes of the campaign, there is a lingering sense that you might have contributed more.

That's the situation Jordi Murphy found himself in last year but after only two games of this season's Championship, he has already multiplied his playing time.

"Last year, I got in towards the tail end but only got off the bench for a few minutes in two of the three games that I was involved in. I have to say after looking back on it, I definitely felt part of the squad," the back-row said at the launch of Under Armour's new ARMOUR Compression gear.

"There's 35 people in the squad but I didn't feel like I was that heavily involved, which judging by the minutes I played, I hadn't been.

"This year I've gotten a full game under my belt and got a few minutes in the last game so I suppose it feels like I've been more a part of it because I actually have."

The seemingly unbreakable Jamie Heaslip has suffered a couple of injuries lately, with the most recent one a result of Pascal Pape's knee to his back.

The door has been opened for Murphy, just like it was in Rome when Heaslip missed out with a shoulder injury, and the 23-year old knows that his versatility can work in his favour.

"If it means getting selected, I'm happy to play wherever. I suppose my versatility is on my side in that I can play across the back-row.

"It's good from my point of view to be able to give a coach that flexibility.

"In the lineout, it's completely different positions so you need to know all the different calls around you. When you're at eight, you're expected to communicate a lot more"

The former Blackrock College student also dismissed the widespread suggestion that Ireland have become a boring team to watch.

After two wins from their opening two Six Nations games, there had been some unfair criticism aimed at Joe Schmidt's game-plan but Murphy (pictured left) is adamant that the players themselves are not in the slightest bit concerned about it.

"We're getting wins and I think we're playing good rugby. On a few occasions, we were just one pass away from getting scores the other day," he insisted.

"I think it's unfair of people to be giving out saying that we're not scoring tries but I suppose that's a good place to be in because a few years ago people would have been complaining that Ireland weren't winning games.

"We're winning games now and people are giving out that we're maybe not doing it with as much style as they'd like but that's just the way it is.

"Some days you score four tries, others you score none. I think to be still getting wins is where you want to be.

"Our game-plan is always to score tries.

"We have pre-empted moves that you're aiming to score tries from so I'm sure we'll start scoring more."

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