©INPHO/Ben Evans
# Numbers Game
Opening night losing streak drove Leinster on against Scarlets — Murphy
The blues’ back-row knows the position he’d like to play, but is happy to take the jersey he’s given for now.

JORDI MURPHY HAS to be careful what he says.

It’s with a deep breath and a knowing smile when he side-steps the question of his favourite position

“I’m comfortable in seven, eight and six at the moment,” he says in deference to Sean O’Brien and his mentor Jamie Heaslip.

“Wherever they [coaches] want me to play I’m happy to go.

“I can’t put my finger on one at the moment, but I’m going alright at eight at the moment, so I can’t complain.”

Going alright, indeed: Murphy got on the score-sheet with powerful 10-metre drive in the second half of Leinster’s win over Llanelli despite a heavy impact from Ken Owens who was forced to cling to him all the way to the line.


He also formed the front of the hot knife through butter that was the most clinical maul rolling maul you’re likely to see until winter is well behind us.

Most importantly, though, he also contributed several important interventions at the breakdown which wrestled control of the game into Leinster’s hands after a rocky opening. It is these moments which convince onlookers that the openside is where his long term future should lie.

“We were just itching to get going,” says the 22-year-old.

“Everyone has had a long pre-season, working hard and it’s good to get such a good result away from home – the first victory in the first round for a couple of years for us – bonus point as well which is great.”

As he suggests, a bonus point in this context is of lesser importance than the eastern province finally breaking that six-year opening night hoodoo. If not for the squad with medals safely tucked away, then for the new coach with a tough act to follow.

“I think we knew we had to stand up. There are a few fresh new faces, a few of the lads have been away on tours over the summer, so it was really important for us to stand up.

“We didn’t want that mantle to keep going; where we hadn’t won our first game in a few years. We just knew what we had to do and went about our business well.”

And on they go to another day at the office, at home to Ospreys on Saturday night with Murphy still watching his words, but growing ever more comfortable in a starting shirt, whatever the number.

Pro12: Tuqiri signing imminent for Leinster

In case you missed them, here’s how all four provinces got on at the weekend

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