“I have rugby in my blood”- Jim

2018-11-15 06:02
James Murphy.

James Murphy.

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To be part of the back-to-back HSBC Sevens World Series champions is an honour for James Murphy, from Wynberg and has been extremely humbling.

He trained in the SA Academy side for about three months, joining the squad post-Dubai 2017 and the South America tour early in January 2018.

“I was training with the Academy side and my experience was based on Provincial 7s, Varsity 7s and then my biggest contributor was representing the Samurais in an international tournament at the end of 2017.

When I heard coach Marius call out my name as he announced the travelling team to Hong Kong, I got the largest shot of adrenaline, but at the same time, relief.

All my hard work and extra hours of training had all paid off and the opportunity I had been dreaming of for years was finally before me.

As you know, we made history by winning the bronze medal after we were written off before our departure to Hong Kong, while the senior players were all in action at the Commonwealth Games in Australia,” Murphy says.

The advice Marius gave to “his” team (the Academy team) was that this was an opportunity for them, this was their chance and it was theirs to take.

“When he announced the team he said nobody knows any of you, but trust the system and express yourselves and when you get on that plane on Monday to come home, everyone will know your names.

That is exactly what happened and the world took notice of what we can do when we were not fazed by big names from Fiji, England, France, Australia or New Zealand.

When we returned, we received a lot more positive responses. To hear from players with over 60 caps, ‘well done, you did seriously well, keep it up’, are the type of words I hold close to my heart.

In terms of game criticism, the only criticism I listen to is the coaches. After Hong Kong, I had positive feedback, which I took into my training and team culture contributions,” Murphy says.

With the Dubai Sevens looming, he does not know how the selections are looking.

“I think what I’m most looking forward to this season, is getting an opportunity to play and express myself and everything that I have been fortunate to learn in the past very tough three months of pre-season.

Whether I am playing for the Academy or the Blitzboks, my duty remains the same and my willingness to learn and grow as a player will still be hungrier than ever.

Another thing that I am excited to continue doing, is learn from my senior teammates.

The experience of these players is irreplaceable, and the effort they put into helping us youngsters is extremely generous and it just shows how they all value this successful system. Thus far, I have only played in the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens but will work hard to be part of the team that is competing in all 10 tournaments,” he says.

What people don’t know is that he is a passionate fisherman and loves golf, and that he played provincial hockey at school and no rugby after Grade 9.

“My motto in life is that it’s not about how hard you can hit, but about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

There is also a misunderstanding among the public that my great-granddad is Japie Krige. My great-granddad is actually direct family of Japie Krige. I do believe that I have rugby in my blood as both my granddads played provincially.

Going the rugby route was not initially my decision – it was only once I got to Maties that I made the decision to play. With the aid of my family I decided I wanted to give it everything and this year I received the Rector’s Award for sport.

“I am still currently registered to complete my Phd in Financial Planning (CFP), however with my recent inclusion in the Sevens I have slowed it down a bit and will pick it up again to complete it in the next year or two. I have finished my undergraduate at Maties and did B Comm Economics and Management Science with a double major in Finance and Logistics.

“When I joined the Blitzboks Sandile Ngcobo (Stix) really pushed me to the boundaries I didn’t know I had and continues to push me to be the best I can be. I think it’s hard to pinpoint who of the senior players take the youngsters under their wings,”

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