Irish-born rugby prop Ruaidhrí Murphy has engaged a solicitor to help him convince the International Rugby Board he should be eligible to play for Australia.
Murphy, who represented Ireland at underage level, signed with the ACT Brumbies last year and is listed as a foreign player despite being an Australian citizen.
He’s also been told he cannot be considered for the Wallabies because he doesn’t meet IRB guidelines.
The guidelines state that to qualify for a union, either the player or the player’s parents must have been born in the union, or the player must be in the country for 36 months prior to contract.
The 25-year-old has spent more than half his life in Australia, growing up in Perth before his family relocated back to Ireland.
“I spent just shy of 14 years in Perth”, Murphy told the Irish Echo.
“But because it wasn’t consecutive before the period of contract they’ve just said that doesn’t count.”
Murphy is hopeful he can get this overturned if he can bring a strong enough case to the IRB.
“I’m getting help from the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) and they’re working in line with the Australian Rugby Union so there’s good power behind me to make a statement if I need it, and that’s kind of the way it’s going.”
He’s confident that if they put forward a strong proposal the IRB will be quick to respond, but he’s not sure what the response will be.
“I think if we get to the point where the IRB will look at it, we’ll get an answer straight away, but it’s just getting a decent proposal to send, something that they’re actually going to pay attention to.”
He has some concerns the board may not make an exception for his case, for fear of opening up the door to others.
“Whether they’ll even look at mine is a big if and but … if they review mine they may be forced into reviewing other situations.”
Either way, Murphy is still contracted with the Brumbies until after the 36-month period expires in May 2014.
However, if the opportunity arose to play for Ireland at a senior level before then, he said would seriously consider it.
“I’ve spent more of my life here so I’m very Australian, but I’m pretty proud of my Irish history. I’ve two very proud Irish parents and I had a very good life while I lived there. Ireland was very good to me and to play for Ireland underage was a massive honour.
“I’d never rule out going back again should the right opportunity arise, but my biggest focus is just to get established in Australia with the Brumbies and if I keep playing the rugby, opportunities will open themselves wherever they do.”