herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Murphy will answer Ireland's call

GEORDAN Murphy has postponed his international retirement after holding talks with Ireland coach Declan Kidney, and the Leicester man has declared that he will be available for the forthcoming Six Nations.

“I’ve spoken with Declan and we thrashed it out,” Murphy said. “I didn’t want to be one of those players who retired and then came back.”

However, Murphy also told Kidney that he would only be willing to make himself available if an emergency arose in the back three.

“I’m not looking at achieving a lot by holding a (tackle) bag for a week or two,” admitted the

33-year-old.

“But if there are any injuries, I’d be happy to come in and be part of a match-day 22 or 23. I suppose I’m on stand-by really. I said I’d hang around for another few months at least.”

Security

Meanwhile, Irish referee Alain Rolland will not be given any special security protection as he officiates in Wales for the first time since sending off Welsh captain Sam Warburton for a tip tackle on Vincent Clerc in the World Cup semi-final defeat to France.

Rolland is slated to officiate

in the Scarlets-Northampton Saints Heineken Cup clash on Saturday, but there will not be any security upgrade despite the fact that the Dubliner allegedly received death threats last year.

“He’s a good top-end referee and you can’t blame him for following the laws of the game,” said Scarlets coach Nigel Davies. “Referees always get stick from the crowd. As much as our crowd are very passionate, I don’t think anyone has been attacked here.

“He will be fine. That game is long gone. We have a very knowledgeable crowd and no-one can argue with the call he made.”

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