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Geordan Murphy

Geordan Murphy
Geordan Murphy.jpg
Geordan Murphy playing at fullback for Leicester against Bath.
Birth nameGeordan Edward Andrew Murphy
Date of birth (1978-04-19) 19 April 1978 (age 41)
Place of birthDublin, Ireland
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight87 kg (13 st 10 lb; 192 lb)[1]
SchoolNewbridge College
UniversityDe Montfort University and Waterford Institute of Technology
SpouseAneka Murphy
ChildrenSon with Aneka Murphy
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fullback, Wing
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1997–2013 Leicester Tigers 316 (657)
Correct as of 28 May 2013
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Ireland A
Correct as of 10 Feb 2015

Geordan Edward Andrew Murphy (born 19 April 1978) is an Irish rugby union coach and former player. He played as fullback or wing both for the Irish international team and the English club Leicester Tigers.[2]


Murphy was born in Dublin, Ireland. He was officially named George after his father but his mother called him Geordan to avoid confusion. His six brothers and sister all played rugby union. Murphy was educated at Newbridge College, Newbridge, Co. Kildare before attending Waterford Institute of Technology and De Montfort University in Leicester.

Murphy played Gaelic football at Minor (U18) level with Kildare GAA in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.

Playing career

In 1997 shortly before he joined Leicester Tigers, Murphy gained his first U18 rugby cap for Ireland. He gradually made his way into the Tigers' first team squad, while gaining caps for Ireland U21. Opportunities at fullback were limited by the presence of Tim Stimpson, but he gained a place on the right wing. Murphy started in both of Leicester's back-to-back Heineken Cup final wins in 2001[3] and 2002, scoring a try in the latter final.[4] He also helped Leicester win four Premiership trophies in a row in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.[5]

Murphy broke his leg in Ireland's last warm-up game against Scotland at Murrayfield prior to the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup and did not compete.

Murphy won his fifth Premiership medal in 2007, starting the final as Leicester defeated Gloucester.[6]

As he matured, Murphy preferred full back over wing. His main rivals for the Ireland full back starting position were Girvan Dempsey and Rob Kearney. In his autobiography he stated that he had a poor working relationship with former Ireland Coach Eddie O'Sullivan mainly because he played for an English team.[citation needed] Murphy was named as the starting full back for Ireland in the crucial game against Argentina on 22 November 2008, and scored one of Ireland's two tries in that game.

He was a member of the victorious Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam.[7] In May 2009, Murphy was named in the Barbarians squad to play England and Australia along with Ireland team mate Gordon D'Arcy.[8]

He took over the Tiger's Captaincy on the field in the 2008/9 season, when club captain Martin Corry was not in the team, and led them to two finals that season – Heineken Cup and English Premiership, the latter of which they won.[9] The following season, he was named official club captain, though missed out on much of the season due to injury. He returned in February, to lead the team to a successive Guinness Premiership title, when the Tigers beat Saracens 33–27 in the final.[10]

Murphy was chosen to captain Ireland against the New Zealand Maori in June 2010.[11] On 11 September Murphy was picked to start in the first match of the 2011 rugby world cup since Rob Kearney was injured. Ireland won the game 22-10 against the United States. He came on then to replace Keith Earls in the Russia game.

In May 2012, Murphy announced his retirement from playing international Rugby,[12] and in May 2013, he announced his retirement from playing all forms of rugby. Murphy was left out of the squad for the 2013 Premiership final shortly before he retired.[13]


In May 2013 Murphy was declared to become assistant coach at Leicester from the 2013-14 season onwards. He masterminded Tigers winning of the 2016–17 Anglo-Welsh Cup, the first Tigers trophy won in the period Murphy was part of the coaching team.

He acted as head coach for the September 2017 Leicester game vs Bath, when new head coach Matt O'Connor had only just arrived.[citation needed]

Murphy was placed in formal interim charge of Leicester Tigers on 3 September 2018 following the sacking of O'Connor.[14] This position was made permanent in December 2018.


  1. ^ "Aviva Premiership Rugby - Gloucester Rugby". web page. Premier Rugby. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Leicester confirm Geordan Murphy's new coaching role". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  3. ^ "European glory seals Leicester treble". BBC. 19 May 2001. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Tigers retain European Cup". BBC. 25 May 2002. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  5. ^ "History". Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Premiership final". BBC. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  7. ^ Roberts, Gareth (22 March 2009). "2009 Six Nations". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  8. ^ []. Retrieved 13 May 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  9. ^ "Leicester 10-9 London Irish". BBC. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  10. ^ Foy, Chris (31 May 2010). "Tigers pounce to give Lewis Moody a victorious send off". London: Daily Mail.
  11. ^ "Geordan Murphy 'honoured' to captain Ireland at the Maoris". Daily Mail. London: Mail Online. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Geordan Murphy". BBC Sport. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Geordan Murphy out of grand final as Leicester shun sentiment". Guardian. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Leicester Tigers club statement on head coach" (Press release). Leicester Tigers. 3 September 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.

External links