Walker’s sights set on World Cup
Having only arrived on the international scene in Autumn, Murphy Walker has the opportunity to be part of the Scotland World Cup squad heading to France in September.
His debut came off the bench against Fiji in November as part of the Autumn Nations Series. Murphy was brought on as a replacement in the second half of the 28-12 win.
“It was special,” he recalled. “I think it’s so cliché to say as a kid, but it’s the sort of thing you dream of.
“I remember being on that bus before the game spotting my family in the crowd on the stairs as you walk out the bus and into the tunnel.
“And then the whole game, the whole day, was probably the best day of my life. I genuinely wouldn’t change it for anything.
“The whole day, getting on the pitch, it was like a pinch me moment, and then when the final whistle went I could see my whole family at the back, just in front of the box, because they had a big sign with my name on it and I give them a little wave which was very special.
“Then to get my parents in the changing room when I got capped was very special because I owe a lot to them taking me to the sessions growing up.
“The sessions when I was about three, four or five years old, and it was raining in the mud. And so I owe them a lot. And it was amazing to share that special moment with them.”
Murphy’s only other cap to date came two weeks later against Argentina, again as a replacement. Back in the squad this summer, the prop has a positive outlook on the hard work required to prepare for the World Cup.
“I’d like to say it’s been easy but it hasn’t, it’s been tough! But very, very enjoyable.
“I think as a team, we’ve got a good ethos of working hard when we need to work hard and then off the pitch sort of bonding with each other, connecting, so that when it does get to the tough times on the pitch we can rely on each other to do our job.
“It’s been a tough old few weeks so far. I’m sure that the next few weeks ahead will be tough as well but thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s great seeing everybody again after a long season.”
As well as three Famous Grouse Nations Series matches at home to relish against Italy (Sat 29 July), France (Sat 5 August) and Georgia (Saturday 26 August), a trip to the World Cup host country is also on the cards as Scotland travel to France. It’s a game in particular that Murphy sees as vitally important for the group.
“I think going out there, experiencing the fans, just the whole thing is going to be so key for us in terms of preparation for when it comes to the World Cup.
“To get a game out there in the five or six weeks beforehand is going to be huge.
“It’ll be good to kind of get used to surroundings and it won’t be a shock for us when we finally get there.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge that France will bring, which is never easy.
“France are up there, New Zealand are up there, and South Africa and Ireland are up there. We are playing two of them in the group stages and one twice in the Nations Series and maybe again in the knockouts.
“France will be probably the best prep we can ever have, it gives us a chance to kind of fine tune any things from our game plan.
“No game is ever going be easy in a World Cup, so any opportunity you get to play a game beforehand is always going to be important.”
The games also provide the 23-year-old with an opportunity to make the final squad heading out to France, which would mean everything to the Glasgow Warriors player.
“Gregor talks a lot about competition and making training, whether it be in the gym, units or on the field, a competition.
“I’m going to try and stick my hand up, do what I can, and hopefully, the rest takes care of itself. I can’t wait.
“It’s a cliché but it would be a dream.
“You see when the World Cup squad was announced last time and you just want to be one of those guys that goes away.
“It would be so gutting to miss out but I’m doing the very best I can to make sure that I’m going to be in that final 33 and hopefully it gives myself and my family and those back home something to remember and cherish.”
Before France, the team will play in The Famous Grouse Nations Series this July and August with three exciting home fixtures at Scottish Gas Murrayfield. The first game against Italy is just over a week away (Sat 29 July, 3.15pm), next up is France (Sat 5 Aug, 3.15pm) and then Georgia (Sat 26 Aug, 5.30pm). Secure your tickets here.
There are NO Autumn Test fixtures this year, so these games are your last chance to see Scotland men in action on home soil in 2023!