Geordan Murphy always thought his address in Leicester cost him caps with Ireland and his ongoing association with the Tigers since hanging up his boots leaves him in a strange sort of limbo as he looks to build a career in coaching.
Yesterday showed how.
Ronan O’Gara and Girvan Dempsey were both busy with Joe Schmidt’s Ireland camp out in Carton House and Felix Jones will link up with them anon. That trio will then take it in turns to accompany the squad on their summer tour to the USA and Japan.
That’s experience you can’t buy.
Murphy, meanwhile, was half-an-hour down the road at Old Wesley’s clubhouse in Donnybrook where he was promoting eir Sport’s new chromecast-compatible app and sharing his experiences from the Lions tour of New Zealand back in 2005.
He would have “loved” a chance to link up with the other up-and-coming Irish coaches out in his native Kildare, he said, but the closest he came to any involvement on the tour was a potential link-up with the Americans, Ireland’s first opponents, which he eventually decided against.
“I am kind of between two brackets so it is quite awkward,” he said. “In England, I have done all my levels of coaching but the RFU don’t want to invest me and progress me because they see me as Irish. But I’m kind of out of sight and out of mind over here.”
His ambition and graft can’t be questioned.
Leicester Tigers have experienced all kinds of turbulence in terms of their coaching staff this last while but Murphy has withstood it all to build up a CV that boasts time spent on skills, kicking, backs, attack and even the odd stint with the grunts.
He’ll continue that under Matt O’Connor, who has returned to the East Midlands club for a second stint, and the Tigers continue to be proactive in pushing their staff out the door to pursue Continuous Development Courses (CPDs) and other avenues. Murphy has attended his fair share of sports conferences and picked the brains of coaches across the spectrum and he has even taken flight Down Under to get a close-up view as to how the southern hemisphere giants do their business.
He took in rugby league’s Sydney Roosters, the AFL’s Sydney Swans and Daryl Gibson’s Waratahs in Australia. In New Zealand he picked the brains of Tana Umaga at the Blues while Wayne Smith fed him dinner and gave him a bed after a visit to the Chiefs. He’s in this for the long haul.
“Everyone sets their goals and I want to keep progressing and getting enough experience under my belt. Hopefully the opportunity comes up and I’m ready to take it with both hands. I might not get the opportunity but I would love to go the whole way. I would love to coach internationally.”
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