Friday 19 July 2019

'Ulster fans have been crying out for a Leinster back rower' - Stephen Ferris on Jordi Murphy move and the risk to Les Kiss' job Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Ulster and Ireland juggernaut Stephen Ferris is delighted that his province has been able to capitalise on Leinster back row strength to capture Jordi Murphy for next season.

It was confirmed today that 26-year-old would be swapping provinces at the end of this campaign.

Speaking on's rugby podcast The Left Wing, Ferris said that the flanker would be an ideal fit for Ulster, especially considering the struggles of their forward pack this season.

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"It's great news for the Ulster fans who have been crying out for a few of the Leinster back rows to come up across the border over the years," he said.

"I suppose Leinster are just blessed with the amount of talent they have in the back row and it is good to see a guy like Jordi making that move.

"Fair play to him, I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision to make. He's gonna get a lot more game time in an Ulster jersey next season and that's going to help going forward in trying to nail down a green jersey.

"It's good, positive news with Marty Moore coming back from Wasps. It's a couple of Leinster guys who are going to be playing for Ulster next season.

"I think it's quite ballsy from Jordi Murphy because I'm sure it is tough for him to cross the border and play for a rival province.

"I'm sure he'll add a lot f experience and add something to Ulster they've been missing for the last couple of years."

Luke Fitzgerald echoed Ferris' sentiments.

"I think he's a brilliant player and it's exactly what Ulster need," he said.

"It will be sad to see him go and he's such a quality player but he's exactly what they need."

With 28 tries conceded in the league, as well as five in two European games, Ulster are leaking over a score per game, more than the likes of Leinster, Munster and Glasgow this Guinness PRO14 campaign.

The side's apparent defensive frailties, which have seen them concede close to three tries a game in domestic competition, again proved their undoing in the 32-32 draw with Dragons last Friday night.

Leading by 12 points in the 67th minute, the side shipped three quick scores in the final stages to leave themselves scrambling to rescue the situation in the closing seconds.

While the last-gasp try from Christian Leali'ifano salvaged a stalemate, head coach Jono Gibbes admitted afterwards that it would have felt unjust if the same player's conversion had stolen back victory with the final action of the game.

With back-to-back Champions Cup games and three inter-provincial derbies on the horizon, Ferris believes a downturn in results could spell the end of Kiss' time at Ravenhill.

"I think all the Ulster fans want is a bit of honesty and want them to come on to the post-match interviews and say, 'look, we weren't good enough tonight, I think we've so much to work on and if we play like that in Europe we're going to get a heavy defeat'.

"That's what fans want, instead of papering over the cracks.

"I think a little bit more honesty would be good from the coaching staff going forward.

"Les Kiss works on defence and it's just not working.

"A lot could be said about Les Kiss' job if things don't go well in the next six weeks.

"The Ulster supporters are crying out for change at the minute."

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