ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED the signing of Irish loosehead prop Ruaidhri Murphy from the Brumbies on a two-year contract.
The 26-year-old is a product of the Leinster academy, from where he joined the Exeter Chiefs in 2009. A former Ireland U19 and U20 international, Murphy then moved to the Brumbies in Australia for the beginning of the 2012 Super Rugby season.
A graduate of Castleknock College in Dublin [his city of birth], Murphy had spent time living in Perth as a youth and his move to the Southern Hemisphere led to the prop expressing a desire to play for the Wallabies.
However, Murphy will instead return to Ireland in August, when this season’s Super Rugby competition finishes, where he will link up with Ulster. The promising front row forward is looking forward to the move.
“When I was deciding my future, it came down to joining Ulster or staying with the Brumbies. The Brumbies are a fantastic franchise and Canberra is a brilliant place to live, but I am Irish, I have an Irish family and I have always had the urge to return to Ireland one day and to play my rugby back home.
“Ulster are a quality team. They are currently one of the leading sides in Europe and their fans are famous around the world. It is an exciting time to be joining the Province with the new stadium and the new training facilities that have been built at Ravenhill.
Murphy, who has made 19 Super Rugby appearances for the Brumbies over the last two seasons [including five starts], cited his discussions with David Humphreys as influential in his decision, while the Ulster Director of Rugby called Murphy “a highly talented young Irish prop”.
With Tom Court leaving the province at the end of this season, Murphy will compete with the ever-improving Callum Black and 24-year-old Paddy McAllister for the number one shirt.