Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy quits international game

Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy has revealed he is quitting international rugby after failing to make the squad for the tour to New Zealand.

Geordan Murphy was a British Lion and a key part of Ireland's Grand Slam in 2009. But his Irish tally of 72 international caps could, and arguably should, have comfortably topped three figures.

For much of his Ireland career coach Eddie O'Sullivan preferred Girvan Dempsey at full-back, a solid and dependable player contrasting with Murphy's mercurial brilliance.

With fast feet, there are very few who match Murphy's natural ability, and his spontaneity. His love of adventure will be sorely missed. In Rob Kearney, though, Ireland have perhaps the best full-back in world rugby right now, and Murphy's Leicester career is not done yet

The Leicester Tigers skipper had been pondering his Irish future, and being left out of Declan Kidney's panel seems to have made his mind up.

"You know when it's time to hang up your boots at any level," Murphy told the Leicester Mercury. 

"It is time for some young lads to come in and prepare for the next World Cup."

Murphy said he planned to contact Ireland coach Kidney to tell him of his international retirement.

"I have had some tremendous memories with the squad," said 34-year-old Murphy, who played in two of Ireland's matches at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Murphy won 72 caps for Ireland and two for the British & Irish Lions on the 2005 tour to New Zealand. He was in the Ireland team that won the Grand Slam in 2009.

Murphy is the latest in a string of Ireland players to announce their retirement, following on from Shane Horgan, Jerry Flannery, Denis Leamy and David Wallace.