Prop Ruaidhri Murphy is fighting a legal battle to prove he should be a Wallaby. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
Irish-born ACT Brumbies prop Ruaidhri Murphy has ramped up a legal campaign to prove he should be eligible for the Wallabies, insisting his situation is a "black and white" case.
While he still speaks in an Irish brogue represented his country of birth at underage level, Murphy has engaged a solicitor to help convince the International Rugby Board he warrants special discretion.
Despite the fact he holds an Australian passport and grew up in Perth, IRB rules state a player born overseas must have lived in the country for three years before being eligible for the Wallabies.
Murphy has been a key plank in the Brumbies finals charge off the bench since joining the club this season, and remains on the club’s foreign player list.
He spent five years playing overseas for Irish club Leinster and English side Exeter before signing with the Brumbies.
"The frustrating thing is it looks black and white on paper as an Australian citizen," Murphy said yesterday.
"I’ve got my own passport and have lived for so long [as a child], but the IRB guidelines are set and that’s the way it works.
"I’ve got the backing of RUPA [Rugby Union Players Association] and the ARU, and they’ve given me a solicitor Tom Brett to draft a proposal to explain my situation, and show how it’s black and white that I am Australian.
"I describe myself as a passionate Irish-Australian, I’ve spent over half my life in Australia and feel very much at home here."
The 24-year-old admitted he may consider playing for Ireland if they show interest before he is officially eligible for the Wallabies in May, 2014.
"If Ireland were to come knocking at a senior level, it would be something that would be hard not to look at," Murphy said.
"It would be a fantastic honour and justification for a good year and the Brumbies success, but I can't get ahead of myself and it’s a massive 'if and but'.
"For them to come and have a look at me all the way from Ireland would be a long shot, but if it came to that I’d have to consider it and think about the best options.
"If the situation came where I had to choose a green or a gold [jersey] my mum would be a bit torn, she'd probably want me in the green, but she’d support any decision I made."
Should the IRB refuse to budge, Murphy declared he is happy to remain in the capital and help build on the Brumbies’ resurgence this year.
"We’re working out our approach to the IRB, whether they'll even look at the situation if we put a decent proposal together, but the best thing is I’m contracted to play at the Brumbies until after that period [May 2014] anyway," Murphy said.
"Should it not get overturned, I’m happy to get stuck in and just establish myself here."
For now, Murphy is content to bide his time behind the Brumbies star front row of Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander.
But he admitted filling the shoes of the all-Wallabies duo off the bench has inpired him to lift his impact.
"I'm quite happy in that role at the moment, and I'm learning plenty," Murphy sad.
"They set the standard, and when you come in you have to try and match it and something to that.
"That’s definitely something I’ve put on myself through the year."