A prop, playing like a back, even taking the shots at goal for Northland and she’s even topping the try-scoring ladder ahead of the competition’s resumption next week. But it’s a moment of tragedy which is the reason behind Murray’s form, which has finally led to a Black Ferns call-up.
Murray, or Muzz or Muzza, as she’s better known has previously played for the Kiwi Ferns in rugby league, having featured in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. But her rugby career has seen her move from No. 8 to prop, where she has flourished for Northland for the past two seasons. Believe it or not, she’s the Union’s top women’s point scorer.
Flashback a few years and everything changed for the 28 year-old.
“My dad was my biggest supporter in all of my rugby and unfortunately he did pass away in 2017.
“That made me do a lot of self-reflecting and there were dark times and good times, but I feel that going through that made me realise that we only have a short amount of time. Knowing that and living through him would be for me to do as much as I could and be the best that I can be.”
Murray said it’s about making her dad proud and herself proud and with that comes a positive influence on the people in the north.
“That’s pretty much all I wanted to do. If it’s not for me, it’s for our people here, but definitely for my dad, it’s a big thing for me.”
Fellow Black Ferns teammate Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate was right there when Murray got the call up from head coach Glenn Moore. The duo who constantly entertain their Instagram followers with dancing and fun work outs, were feeling the nerves last Friday, when calls were being made. And for Murray, that phone call had been a long time coming.
“I was out mowing my lawns, doing the weed eating, just trying to do everything I could to keep myself busy. I didn’t want to just sit and watch the pot of water boil because I was going to drive myself crazy. I had to do something. But it’s crazy, it’s always been a dream of mine.”
The Kauri skipper is proud to be representing her province, with only one other players in Olympic champion Portia Woodman joining her from the North. She said she’s not feeling any pressure to perform.
“I don’t feel any weight because I know no matter what, if I give my best, my province and my iwi will have my back.”
The Farah Palmer Cup resumes next weekend, before the Black Ferns to head to the Northern Hemisphere in October for their tour against England and France.