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Title: ... p56 Alex Murphy --( inc p53 - Tommy Bishop) Comments of Murphy and the 66 Tour selections. by Steve

In 1966 the tour party was about to be named and it appeared that Harry Poole the Leeds

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Steve in NZ, Nelson, New Zealand

Hull KR and NZ Warriors

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18/04/2005

(THIS STORY MAINLY RELATES TO ALEX MURPHY BUT TOMMY GETS A MENTION, QUIGS)

When the head groundsman at Twickers retired they asked him who was the best fly half (union for Stand off) he ever saw play at Twickers. He had no doubt, of all the English, the three home union, the frogs, the southern hemisphere players he saw play over 30 odd years he nominated Alex Murphy. During his time in the RAF on National service he played hunt-grunt-shunt-and-punt for the RAF as a fly half.

What might have been. In 1966 the tour party was about to be named and it appeared that Harry Poole the Leeds 2nd row forward who was at the end of his career was to be named captain. Murph thought he should have been captain of the tour squad but had the nod he would be test captain as Pooley wasn't sure of a test place. Bill Ramsey, John Mantle, Dave Robinson looked to be the front runners for the back three. So instead of touring a third time after much success on the 62 and 58 tours he opted not to tour. Rumour was he was miffed at being used on tour as a center rather than scrum half or stand off. At the time Alan Hardisty and Tommy Bishop were at their peak. However in the papers Murph said he didn't want to be used as captain for the tests regardless of what position he played, when another tour captain was picked.

Harry Poole didn't play the tests, Workington forward Brian Edgar captained the test team in all 3 tests on Oz. A center was called up, Ian Brook from Wakefield Trinity as they were in those days. He played in all 5 tests on tour. I'm sure with Murph as tour captain GB would have won the series instead of losing it 2-1. Sure the reffing was diabolical as usual. But Murph knew how to win, he knew how to get the best out of his team. This takes nothing away from Brian Edgar who led by example on his third tour. That Murph was still playing international football in 71 shows that he could have done GB proud in 66.


Appears in the following pages ....P53_Tommy BISHOP, P56_Alex MURPHY
Date of posting ... 18-Apr-2005
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