Belfast Telegraph

Jordi Murphy aims to pass a big test for Leinster

By David Kelly

Jordi Murphy tested himself on Barcelona FC history last week and was disappointed with merely a 7 out of 10 rating - it may just prove to be better than the rating he gives himself as he struggles to rediscover his most potent form.

The son of Catalonia didn't recall exactly how many La Liga titles his heroes have won - he guessed 25 (23), and he failed to identify the beaten finalists when Barca claimed the European Cup in 1992 (Sampdoria).

"I was disappointed with myself," he said, after being forgiven for not knowing that Gary Neville will be the next manager to oppose Luis Enrique.

The Barcelona-born back-row star has been disappointed a lot of late. Offered the perfect World Cup stage to shine against Argentina when opportunity clattered upon his door, he barely pushed it ajar, like so many underwhelming compatriots.

And, since returning to Leinster, he has struggled to adapt to life under a new coaching regime and he was notably below par as Leo Cullen's men slumped to a pair of opening-round defeats.

Both team and player are on the back foot and, beginning with a visit to Pro12 champions Glasgow Warriors on Saturday (3pm), Murphy is desperate to regain the form that shot him into national prominence in 2014 under his erstwhile provincial coach, Joe Schmidt.

"I have to up my game at the moment and get to the standard I know I can play at, which I haven't found in the last few weeks," the 24-year-old added.

"I've been there before so I know I can do it again, and hopefully surpass it again.

"I'm not making any excuses. I should have prepared myself better. I am hard on myself. I try not to dwell on it.

"I know I haven't been up to the standard you need to be at to play for Leinster.

"Hopefully, I can turn that around the next chance I get."

Belfast Telegraph


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