When he is not out on a rugby fields representing his country, the Stellenbosch University graduate loves nothing more spending time in the bush, answering the call of the other passion in his life, which is wildlife.
For someone who loves being out in the South African bush, the lockdown can be challenging, but Murphy knows better than most people that adversity is almost never something you can plan for.
Six months ago, Murphy was scoring tries in Munich as the national sevens team started their pre-season with a tournament victory at the Oktoberfest Sevens, and looking forward to staking a claim for a starting berth in the World Series.
A month later, things went south during a trip to northern Mozambique. Away from rugby, Murphy is also the Chief Operations Manager of an NPO called Protecting African Lions (PAL).
“I organized my first successful exhibition in October last year, where our foundation sponsored a trip where we tracked and collared a wild lioness in the north-eastern part of Mozambique,” Murphy told www.springboks.rugby.
“It was on this trip that I was bitten by a poisonous Sac spider. It was only after three operations that I could return to the training field. And now, we’re in COVID-19 lockdown.”
With (more) time on hand, Murphy could benefit from an earlier decision to also do a field guiding course.
“As this foundation became such an integral part of my life, I only saw it fit to do my FGASA (field guiding) course. So, apart from training and keeping fit, I’ve utilized this time to study and hopefully I will be able to write the exam at the end of this year," he explained.
“This time away from the game has only grown my passion for the African bush, and I am enjoying every second of learning about the finer details of it. I would have loved to be playing at the moment, but to be honest, this is not a bad second choice for me.”
Murphy encourages his fellow South Africans to stay committed to the call for social distancing and personal hygiene: “We all would probably have chosen to be doing something else right now, but this is a much bigger call for all of us and it can only be beaten if we do this together.”