Kildare rugby star Jenny Murphy has spoken about her decision to take time out of the game following a disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign for the Irish team.
The Ballymore Eustace native has been a focal point and a real leader for her country since making her debut in 2012, and she has also been one of the key players to raise the profile of the women’s game in Ireland.
Ireland beat Australia and Japan in their opening pool games of the World Cup that was held on home soil for the first ever time, but subsequent losses to France in the pool stage, and Australia and Wales in the knockout stages meant that the Irish finished in eighth place.
It meant that Murphy decided to step away from the game, and she is sure that her decision is the right one.
“Hopefully me stepping away for a year and focusing on other things, I’ll come back into the rugby fold if they’ll have me and be better for the team in the long run”, she told the national media this week.
Murphy also raised the prospect of boxing with her local club in Ballymore Eustace where her uncle is a trainer during her time away from rugby, though she admits she would probably settle for a club closer to where she lives in Dublin.
The 28-year-old is just keen to explore other sports right now.
“I want to explore other sports for the year,” Murphy explained. “Try something different and hopefully if I’m playing well enough next year, I’ll put my hand up for selection again.
“I might go back to GAA, but I was maybe looking at boxing or something like that.
“In the back of my head, it’s always, ‘will this help my rugby end goal?’ And I think it would. I have to start now but I’m still focused on the club [Old Belvedere] at the moment.
“My uncle would be big into boxing. He’s based in Ballymore Eustace. They’ve got good training down there but I think the commute might be a bit too much for me so I’ll look for a place around Dublin.”
The inside centre will continue to cheer on her teammates during the upcoming Six Nations, and there is sure to be a tinge of envy while she watches them on the pitch.
“Yeah, I’ll go to support the girls but I’m content with where I am,” she said. I know I’ve made the right decision.
“Of course, it will be a bit different. When I see the girls play I will definitely be envious of them playing on the pitch.”
“I hope so, I really hope so,” Murphy responded when asked if she would play for Ireland again.
“If I’m fit enough and I’m playing good rugby I’ll put my hand up for selection.
“I’m not ready to retire just yet.”
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