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'It’s great to see players still wanting to stay in Ireland and compete for that Irish jersey'

Conor Oliver hails Jordi Murphy’s Ulster move.

Oliver: former team-mate of Murphy's at Leinster.
Oliver: former team-mate of Murphy's at Leinster.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MUNSTER FLANKER CONOR Oliver says former Leinster teammate Jordi Murphy has set the standard for Irish players staying in the provincial system rather than taking more lucrative deals abroad.

Murphy has made the move north in a week where Munster captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander have both been linked with moves abroad.

But Oliver, 22, who made the move from Leinster when he could not get enough game-time in the openside berth, says he is delighted to see Murphy choose Ulster over a potential move away.

“He has proved to everyone how good he was in Leinster but unfortunately he had injuries as well and it happens,” said Oliver.

“There is always a player wanting to take your position behind you, and it’s always going to happen.

“It worked out great for me, better than I ever thought it would.

“It’s going to be a really good move for him. He is going to play a lot more rugby than he might have got to play in Leinster.

“It’s great to see players still wanting to stay in Ireland and not taking the option to go to France or England, and compete for that Irish jersey.”

Conor Oliver, Jaco Taute and Keith Earls Oliver, left, launched Life Style Sports' Ultimate Away Trip with team-mates Jaco Taute and Keith Earls. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Oliver is currently out injured with a shoulder reconstruction after he got hurt in pre-season with Munster.

The Skerries native scored four tries in 15 appearances for Munster last season and is aiming for 6 January and Munster’s interprovincial derby with Connacht for his return.
O’Mahony and Stander could be on their way out at that stage, but Oliver says there unseen factors at play behind the scenes.

“There is a lot of factors to take into account, people have families, and in rugby it’s not a long career either,” said Oliver.

“There are a lot of variables that goes into a player leaving. I don’t think it’s just him deciding to go because he has had enough.

“There are some things that people might not know about behind the scenes that are going to encourage him to leave.”

As the exclusive retail partner of Munster Rugby, Life Style Sports will send two fans on a trip of a lifetime to follow the team to South Africa for a 12-day, three city, two-match rugby bonanza. For a chance to win simply purchase the Munster alternate jersey in store or online now. For more information, see here.

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Daragh Small

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