Ireland legend Geordan Murphy (in blue) says he'll come back to Bermuda for a holiday because pf how much fun he had. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Ireland legend Geordan Murphy (in blue) says he'll come back to Bermuda for a holiday because pf how much fun he had. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
21 April 2010

Ireland legend Geordan Murphy wants last week’s charity rugby match featuring Saracens to become an annual fixture in Bermuda.

The Aviva Premiership’s week on the island is expected to raise $50,000 for the Beyond Rugby and Family Centre charities and was headlined by Friday night’s match against a Bermuda International Select XV.

Murphy, 35, who retired from professional rugby at the end of the season and will now take up a coaching role at Leicester, lasted 10 minutes for the Select team before injury forced him off.

But that failed to dampen his enthusiasm for the event, which also attracted the likes of Lewis Moody, Simon Taylor, George Chuter and Shaun Perry, while Saracens brought a 35-man squad including former England internationals Charlie Hodgson and Mouritz Botha.

“It’s amazing,” Murphy told the Bermuda Sun. “I hope it continues and I hope it carries on every year because everyone has had such a good time. All the Americans and Canadians, South Africans, Irish and the English – we’ve been treated so well.

“Hopefully with the exposure this will get all around the world, I hope it carries on and I think it can go on from strength to strength. I think it can compete with a lot of the big occasions.

“The match was a bit of a testing ground for the Bermuda side and the guys showed so much spirit and worked so hard for each other, I was really proud to be a part of the performance.

“We were losing by six or seven tries and we were still defending. We came back and got the try at the end and scored three tries against a very good, professional outfit. In the first half to hold up two guys at the line just shows how hard the guys were working for each other — it’s what rugby is all about.

“Bermuda is the best place to host this. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been shocked and amazed at the hospitality – we’ve been looked after everywhere we’ve been.

“The locals have been great to us – and I’ll be back on holiday just on the strength of how much fun we’ve had.”

The former British & Irish Lion, who won 74 caps for his country, did claim one victory during the week after he helped his team win the beach rugby competition at Elbow. Sadly, that also turned the heat on his dodgy knee.

He said: “I had a cartilage tear on my knee all season and I played the beach sevens on Wednesday and we had long day. We won the final with 10 minutes of extra time and my knee was really sore so I got through the training session and thought I’d be ok.

“I turned to accelerate when Saracens made a break and in my head I was like, right, I should be catching this guy but… I’m not!’

“It was just pretty sore and we had guys on the sidelines just champing at the bit to get on so I thought after 10 minutes I’m pretty much done.”

He added: “I think I pretty much blew my knee out on the beach!”