ALL TOLD, IT’S been a difficult season for Jordi Murphy.
The versatile Leinster man gave hope to Ireland, scoring the second try of a would-be comeback in the crushing quarter-final loss to Argentina. Yet before and since, Murphy has found himself struggling to maintain the steep upward curve he had grown accustomed to in professional rugby.
After a World Cup warm-up loss at home to Wales, he appeared to feel as though his place had been lost. Not quite, but the rapid rate of improvement of Leinster’s next in line forced him out of the international fold by the Six Nations.
“I suppose players go through a few lows here and there. And I haven’t had a very long career up to now and haven’t really had any, so it was a strange one for me,” Murphy says with tough lessons about the temporary nature of form and favour learned.
Alongside the mental hurdles of bouncing back from adversity, Murphy also found himself playing through injury, through the pain barrier, hampered by a troublesome groin that was denying him a quick change of pace when tilted for contact.
Competition: Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Jordi Murphy are all internationals competing for limited spaces in the Leinster back row. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
“It wasn’t one of those problems where you have to stop playing for a few weeks,” Murphy explains with stubbornness typical of a rugby player who won’t sideline themselves.
“I could keep going, but I was going at probably 60 or 65% for me,” he says now sitting much more comfortably in Sandyford’s Skill Zone complex.
“One of the strengths I’ve had over the last few years is that change-up onto the ball, even coming off the bench, giving that extra bit around the corner and I just couldn’t really find it with that niggle.”
“I feel like I’ve got it right now and am getting a bit of an opportunity now at the tail end and am trying to grab it with both hands and do what I know I can.”