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Prop out to prove Murphy's law wrong

Date

Chris Dutton

Brumbies prop Ruaidhri Murphy in training.

Brumbies prop Ruaidhri Murphy in training. Photo: Supplied

ACT Brumbies Irish recruit Ruaidhri Murphy will continue his fight to become eligible to play for the Wallabies despite his request being knocked back by the International Rugby Board.

Under IRB rules, Murphy fails to qualify as a Wallaby because he doesn't fall into any of the three categories required.

Murphy spent 14 years growing up in Australia and his family owns a Perth-based mining business, but he returned to Ireland and played for the Irish under 20s schools team.

He holds both an Australian and Irish passport.

To be available for Wallabies selection, Murphy or his parents must have been born in Australia, or lived here for the past 36 months.

The ARU will ask the IRB to review its decision in the hope Murphy will be able to play for the Wallabies if he has a sparkling debut Super Rugby season.

The 24-year-old prop said his preference was to represent the Wallabies, not Ireland.

But while his international future remains unclear, Murphy insisted it would not be a distraction.

"It shouldn't be an issue, but in reality I don't fit into the three categories so for the moment I'm a foreign player," Murphy said.

"I'm hoping to get it changed and the talk is we're going to keep fighting it because it makes no sense really.

"I've got pretty high aspirations for myself eventually and realistically at the end of the line I want to be a Wallaby, but at the moment it's going to be 36 months before I'm available.

"But I'll take it, I have to establish myself first and it's not frustrating because I'm staying here anyway."

Coach Jake White makes no secret of a long-term plan to develop prop Murphy as a future Wallaby.

Murphy faces a more immediate battle to earn a spot in the Brumbies' side amid competition from Wallaby starting prop Ben Alexander and highly-regarded Dan Palmer.

"I'd like to think [I'm a chance in the starting XV], although I think everyone would consider themselves the same at this stage," the former Exeter player said.

"Everyone has got something to play for, but because I grew up in an environment where the set piece was a massive emphasis I'd like to think that's where I'm going to try and get my edge over my own competition.

"I'm used to a hard-hitting, get-in-there-and-learn kind of aspect... I'd like to think I've got a pretty good grasp on scrummaging."

The internal fight for selection kicks off in earnest this Saturday, when the Brumbies meet the Western Force in their opening trial in Darwin.

Canberra Times

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