James Murphy cuts short Kruger safari to answer Blitzboks SOS in Sydney

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James Murphy. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
James Murphy. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Following an injury to Selvyn Davids, the Blitzboks have added James Murphy to their squad for the Sydney Sevens this week.  

Davids suffered a groin injury in Hamilton, where South Africa finished in a disappointing seventh.   

Murphy is no stranger to the Blitzboks with 52 caps and he made his 12th tournament appearance in Cape Town in December.   

READ | Better execution needed, says Blitzboks coach after Hamilton disappointment

Murphy, who was on a safari with his family when he received the news, said he was looking forward to the trip to Australia.  

"I was the 14th player for the trip, and when the rest of the training squad were given some days off, I could join the family in the Kruger National Park," said Murphy. 

"But I did pack a bag with my rugby stuff just in case I got the call, and that is exactly what happened. 

"I started Sunday morning with a sunrise game drive, and when I  had reception again, I saw the message from (assistant) coach Philip (Snyman) asking me to join them. 

"It is never nice to replace an injured teammate, so I felt for Selvyn, but I am ready to go and contribute and answer the call of duty." 

While he's spent time out of the Blitzboks squad, Murphy said he was more than prepared for the challenge this weekend, having worked with the SA Sevens 'A' squad over the last week.   

"The guys from the SA Sevens 'A' squad put in some heavy sessions at Stellenbosch last week, so I am well prepared," Murphy said.  

"The call-up certainly made up for the original disappointment I felt having missed out.

 "I am looking to be a more regular option in the starting team, and this gives me a great opportunity to contribute and show the coaches the growth in the areas they wanted me to improve on." 

South Africa will meet Kenya on Friday and Uruguay and New Zealand on Saturday in Pool B of the tournament. 

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