Murphy Walker: Scotland call and first start for Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh made it a memorable week for ‘ambidextrous’ prop

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Starting the game at loosehead, the 22-year-old showed his versatility by switching to tighthead when Simon Berghan went off.

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Having an ‘ambidextrous’ prop at your disposal could be quite an asset for club and country and while Walker sees himself as “primarily a tighthead who can play loosehead” he seems pretty relaxed about the whole business.

Murphy Walker, left, shares a joke with Edinburgh’s Ben Muncaster during the 1872 Cup match at Scotstoun. (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group)

“I was looking back at my game on Saturday or Sunday and I was pretty pleased set-piece wise,” he said. “It’s been a while since I played both sides; I think the last time was with Stirling.

“I speak to a lot of different props and they feel it is almost impossible. But for me I just do the opposite of the other. If it’s loosehead I do one sort of tactic in terms of hitting up and whatever, all the dark arts. Then, on the other side, I just reverse it and do the complete opposite.

“I personally don’t find that hard to swap across mid game, mainly because I did it a lot at Stirling when you could only have one prop on the bench. I would usually end up doing 60 minutes of tighthead and then moving across to do 20 minutes of loosehead.”

Beating your local rivals is a good way to start your pro career in earnest and Walker said it was a happy Warriors changing room at full-time.

Murphy Walker sees himself as “primarily a tighthead who can play loosehead.” (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)

“Everyone was buzzing. We were singing our winning song and we made sure the doors were open so they could hear us. It was really enjoyable.”

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If the week ended on a high note, the start was pretty decent as well. Walker’s family home is on a farm in Longforgan and he was helping his dad out of him when he got a call from the Scotland scrum coach.

“It was Monday morning and me and my dad were filling in potholes on the road to the house. I got a missed call from Pieter de Villiers and he left a message asking me to call him as soon as possible. I phoned him back and he said ‘we want you in’.

Glasgow’s Murphy Walker in action against Edinburgh. It was the prop’s first pro team start. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)

“It was quite a crazy 24 hours. I had to get back to Glasgow from Dundee and then across to Edinburgh. I got my kit and met everyone at the hotel.

“It was really good, an unbelievable experience. I did quite a lot of work with Pieter de Villiers, mainly looking at my loosehead work. I spoke with JD [John Dalziel] and Gregor [Townsend] and we were looking at bits of training to see where I could improve.”

For Walker, it is the first steps on the road to what has the potential to be a long and fulfilling career.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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