HAVING shaken off injuries which ruined his first season at Oldham RL, Chris Murphy plans to mount a serious challenge for the Roughyeds’ full-back job in 2013 under new coach Scott Naylor.
Formerly with Warrington, French club Carcassonne and Leigh, 23-year-old Murphy has signed a new one-year contract despite being restricted to only a handful of senior games last season, all of them on the wing.
“Full-back is my best and favourite position,” he said, “but Miles Greenwood made the No 1 job his own last season and his consistency, allied to my injury problems, meant I had no chance of getting anywhere near the full-back’s jersey.
“This time, though, it will be up for grabs (Greenwood has left to join Batley) and I’ll be going into pre-season training fully fit and raring to go for the first time in four years.
“My aim is to show the new boss that injuries are behind me and that I’m good enough to be his No 1.”
Said Naylor: “Chris needs a bit of luck. If he gets it, he will benefit from a good pre-season and then kick on from there.”
Wigan-born Murphy played his early rugby at St Jude’s and then signed for Warrington, working his way through the academy and then the reserves before signing a full-time contract with Carcassone.
After six months in the south of France he returned to this country to play for Leigh and it was while he was at Hilton Park that he seriously damaged an ankle, which required two operations.
He added: “Last season never took off for me. My ankle was still causing me some concern and then I picked up a few niggles as well as a knee injury.
“I missed most of the season, but I got two or three games near the end and I came through unscathed, which gives me a lot of confidence going into pre-season training.
“It’s going to be an exciting time at the club because of the new coach and all the new players. Hopefully, we can do a lot better then last year and go on to win promotion.”
Away from rugby, Murphy is a part-time personal trainer in a Wigan gym, while studying sports science at Salford University.