herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Murphy follows Schmidt 'gospel'

WITH great progress comes great responsibility. This is the 'gospel' according to Joe Schmidt. Standards have been set at Leinster. He means to maintain and improve them.

Barcelona-born Jordi Murphy is the latest 'Rock Boy' to try on the blue of Leinster. So far, it has fit him quite nicely. Forwards coach Jono Gibbes said "he was mad keen and tireless in the contact area" on his full debut against the Scarlets last Saturday.

The 20-year-old made his first appearance for Leinster as a replacement in the Glasgow debacle. He is ready to make his first start at the RDS, against Aironi on Saturday.

"You've got to get the jersey and give it back the way you found it," he said, about his first start in Wales.

"Just because you get picked at a young age, it doesn't mean you can think you are running the show.

"There are guys who have worn that jersey with great pride and done a good job in it.



Enthusiasm

"You've got to try to do the same, if not better, every time. You can't put in a bad performance when you play for Leinster. I think that is what he (Schmidt) meant when he talked about responsibility."

Murphy has latched onto Schmidt's mantra, bringing his own special brand of enthusiasm and physicality to the number seven jersey, the bedrock of the leadership mentality that enabled him to captain Blackrock College to Leinster Schools Junior (2006) and Senior Cup (2009) triumphs.

The transition from Ireland Under-20, where he played at number eight three times, once as captain, and blindside twice during the 2011 World Cup in Italy is an immediate graduation in pace and physicality.

"The intensity is a lot different to anything I have ever played before. It is a real step up. You've got to bring your A-Game the whole time," he said, candidly.

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