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Staunton Joins New Captain Murphy At Leicester

Staunton Joins New Captain Murphy At Leicester

Geordan Murphy has been appointed Leicester Tigers captain for the 2009/10 season, with the announcement coinciding with Jeremy Staunton’s move to the Welford Road club.

Following the retirement of Martin Corry at the end of last season, Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy will lead out the Leicester Tigers when they begin the defence of their Guinness Premiership crown in September.

Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill said: “Geordan has been at Tigers for more than a decade and has been a fantastic servant to this club. He was captain at the end of last year and did a fantastic job.

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“The way we want to play and the way we want to improve our game is with ball in hand and Geordan epitomises that.

“He has the respect of the rest of the squad and I wanted someone who is integral to Leicester Tigers, which he is.”

A huge favourite with the Welford Road fans, Murphy led out Tigers for the first time in the league win over Sale Sharks in April.

The Kildare man subsequently captained the team to victories in the Guinness Premiership final and in his fourth appearance in a Heineken Cup final, against his native Leinster.

Murphy, who has made more than 250 Tigers appearances and is the club’s all-time leading Heineken Cup try-scorer, said: “t is a great honour to lead out such a great club, but there is so much experience and so much quality around the playing squad that it allows you to get on with your own game and trust the rest of the guys to do the same.

“Like all of the guys, I’m looking forward to the start of the season, to two big away games against Sale Sharks and Harlequins, and then to the return to Welford Road and hopefully a capacity 24,000 crowd for the first home game against Newcastle Falcons.”

Before that, Leicester have a glamour home pre-season friendly against Magners League champions Munster on Friday, August 28 (kick-off 7.30pm).

Interestingly, former Munster and Ireland full-back-cum-out-half Jeremy Staunton has signed for Leicester.

The Limerick man (29) was one of four new signings announced by Tigers on Wednesday, along with hooker Joe Duffey, prop Robbie Harris and centre Billy Twelvetrees.

Staunton has considerable experience of the Guinness Premiership, having previously played for Harlequins, London Irish and London Wasps.

Cockerill added: “Jeremy Staunton has been capped by Ireland and we are looking for that goal-kicking with Toby Flood being injured.

“He gives us another experienced option in the back-line positions and a proven ability as a goal-kicker.”