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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 May, 2003, 23:16 GMT 00:16 UK
Murphy ponders future
By Jim Stokes

Perpignan's Phil Murphy make a charge against Toulouse
Murphy was replaced in the final quarter
Perpignan number eight Phil Murphy hopes to resolve his future this week after his final game for the Catalans ended in defeat in the Heineken Cup final.

The Canadian international, out of contract after three years in the south-west of France, is awaiting firm offers from interested clubs, which include Leicester and London Irish.

Born in Novia Scotia to Irish parents, the former Ireland Schools cap wants his future sorted out so he can concentrate on Canada's World Cup campaign.

"I've no idea what I'm going to do," said the 26-year-old.

"There's nothing at all on the table at present. Hopefully with Perpignan's season over, things will start to move next week.

"I will be weighing up my options and have a good talk with my agent and see what is available. Hopefully I will get some sort of an offer next week."

It's probably better to lose in the semi-final than the final
Phil Murphy
Murphy confirmed he had held discussions with Leicester earlier this season, "but nothing, as yet, has come of that."

Castres and Brive are also keen to keep the player in France.

"I'm just hoping things can be sorted out quickly as I want to get myself into the right frame of mind for the World Cup with Canada," he added.

Murphy, who learnt his rugby at Methodist College Belfast, under coach David Wells, admitted he was "gutted" at Perpignan's final defeat.

"I'm just so disappointed that we didn't come away with a win after all that we went through.

"We didn't really get started in the first half. It was a stiff wind and it seemed to take the legs from beneath us.

"We were penalised a lot which stopped our momentum, and we made just too many handling errors."

Despite their 19-0 half-time deficit, Perpignan closed to within a converted try of Toulouse heading into injury time.

"It's hard to lose a game like that," Murphy added. "It's probably better to lose in the semi-final than the final - the disappointment is not as great.

"It's particularly disappointing because my parents came over for the game from Canada and relatives had travelled from Scotland.

"Still, we can hold our heads up high. We played well in the second half, and we did not let ourselves down at the end of our season."

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