Mur­phy’s two-year Ul­ster deal con­firmed

The Irish Times - - Rugby Champions Cup -

Ul­ster have con­firmed the sign­ing of Jordi Mur­phy from Le­in­ster on a two-year deal, as re­ported in The Ir­ish Times on Tues­day.

Mur­phy will leave Le­in­ster at the end of the sea­son and move north to link up with the squad which also in­cludes Marty Moore after his sign­ing was con­firmed last month.

“It’s been an in­cred­i­bly hard de­ci­sion to leave Le­in­ster, where I have made some great friends and en­joyed some fan­tas­tic times, but I am ex­cited by the prospect of mov­ing north and link­ing up with some fa­mil­iar faces,” the back­row said.

‘Great op­por­tu­nity’

“Hav­ing con­sid­ered my op­tions at length, I re­alise that this rep­re­sents a great op­por­tu­nity for me to chal­lenge for a po­si­tion at Ul­ster and hope­fully be­come a more reg­u­lar fea­ture in the na­tional set-up.

“Ul­ster is build­ing a strong squad for next sea­son and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the new chal­lenge. How­ever, I am fully fo­cused on con­tribut­ing as best I can for Le­in­ster for the re­main­der of the cur­rent cam­paign.”

Mur­phy, who made 95 ap­pear­ances for Le­in­ster, will link up with for­wards coach Jono Gibbes – who he worked un­der pre­vi­ously at Le­in­ster – and Les Kiss, who he was also coached by.

Mur­phy scored his 17th Le­in­ster try in last Satur­day’s win away to Benet­ton, but with the ar­ray of back­row op­tions at Le­in­ster, Mur­phy’s move will as­suredly be en­dorsed by Joe Sch­midt and demon­strates his de­sire to fur­ther his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer. His mo­bil­ity, ath­leti­cism, run­ning lines and ver­sa­til­ity will also be a wel­come ad­di­tion to Ul­ster’s ranks.

Com­ment­ing on the move, Kiss said: “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.

‘Explosive run­ner’

“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.

Jordi Mur­phy: has scored 17 tries in his 95 ap­pear­ances for Le­in­ster

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