Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray Move Boosts Falcons; Prop Ready to Strengthen Scrum for Crunch Match

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray Move Boosts Falcons; Prop Ready to Strengthen Scrum for Crunch Match

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Leslie

NEWCASTLE Falcons have given their fans the perfect Christmas present by signing Scotland and Lions international Euan Murray.

The prop forward joins Alan Tait's side on a two-and-a-half year deal and looks set to feature in Monday's crunch Premiership battle when Falcons entertain fellow relegation strugglers Leeds.

The former Glasgow Warriors ace was recently released by Northampton Saints and Tait has moved swiftly to secure the 30-year-old who is sure to add both skill and experience to a front-row which has been pushed around a bit this season.

Murray knows he has a tough act to follow in former All-Black Carl Hayman, who left the club last summer, but is looking forward to playing his part in getting Falcons back up the table.

He said: "I'm married and my wife is expecting a child so we need stability and Newcastle offered me a good deal.

"I want to play rugby and Newcastle have got some games leading into the Six Nations. Plus I'm not amongst strangers, having worked with Taity when he was part of the Scotland coaching set-up as well as playing alongside Ally Hogg and Andy Henderson in the past.

"I'm aware of the legacy Carl Hayman has left. I just want to play rugby and to do it at the best of my ability. I'm not really looking at who's been here before.

"The scrum is not a one-man job - it takes eight of us. We all need to pull together. If selected, I'll do my best to be one part of the eight to make the scrummage area work."

One area away from the rugby pitch that has been a potential sticking point has been Murray's Christian beliefs, which have led him to not playing on a Sunday.

Despite rumours of pressure being put on the prop when at Northampton to compromise his beliefs - fuelled by the player being left out of a number of squads this season - Murray was not one to set aside his views. The majority of Falcons' remaining games do not fall on a Sunday but when such an occasion arises, Tait will have to do without him. …

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