Former England star Austin Healey has fired off at Leicester Tigers after they ‘cast off’ long-serving club stalwart Geordan Murphy.
Murphy has departed the club in what has been claimed is to be a ‘mutual’ decision, although many supporters have reacted angrily to how Murphy has been treated.
News that Murphy had left the club was confirmed less than a day after Rory Underwood stood down from a non-executive role that he had held on the club’s board since 2007, which RugbyPass understands came about as a result of the decision to ditch the former Ireland international.
Leicester Tigers have said the decision was a mutual one, stating: “After discussions with Murphy about his current contract, which was due to end at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season, it was decided that it would not be renewed and, by mutual consent, it was agreed that Murphy would leave the club with immediate effect.”
The decision means that Murphy – at least for the time being – won’t get a proper send off at a club he had given nearly 20 years of his life to. Murphy joined the Welford Road side as a teenager after failing to find a place in the Irish rugby system, making his senior debut in 1997. He went on to make 322 appearances in 16 seasons, including four years as club captain.
However, his move into coaching has been unsuccessful, and he was swapped into the role of Director of Rugby last season to allow Steve Borthwick to take over the reins as head coach.
“Another legend who gave so much to Tigers only for the club to cast him aside without the planned exit he deserved. Our club now in the hands of Borthwick… going to be a long season,” Healey tweeted in response to fellow Leicester Tigers player Leon Lloyd.
Another legend who gave so much to Tigers only for the club to cast him aside without the planned exit he deserved. Our club now in the hands of Borthwick… going to be a long season
— Austin Healey (@IamAustinHealey) November 14, 2020
Healey, who says he asked to join the board last year, scored 61 tries in 248 appearances for the club, playing at scrum-half and across the backline. Known as ‘The Leicester Lip’, his stinging rebuke to his former club represents the growing discontent among fans and many former players about the direction the club has taken.
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