Donegal’s Michael Murphy to try his hand with Clermont Auvergne
Former Welsh winger Shane Williams joins Glenswilly as part of Toughest Trade
Donegal star Michael Murphy will join French Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne as part of ‘The Toughest Trade’. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Former Wales winger Shane Williams, seen here scoring during the World Cup quarter-final against Ireland in Wellington in 2011, will join Donegal club champions Glenswilly as part of ’The Toughest Trade’. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
‘Clermont Auvergne snap up Donegal star Michael Murphy’ would be an early contender for sports story of the year, or perhaps ‘Former Welsh rugby star Shane Williams signs for Glenswilly’.
Well both moves are on the cards, albeit on a temporary basis, as part of the ‘The Toughest Trade’, the documentary series that is part of AIB’s sponsorship of the All-Ireland club championship.
Last year saw Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea take part in rookie trials for the NFL, while Tipperary hurler Brendan Maher tried his hand at cricket with the Adelaide Strikers in Australia.
In return former Miami Dolphins player Roberto Wallace joined the Breaffy footballers in Mayo while former England cricketer Steve Harmison swapped willow for ash for a stint with Borris-Ileigh in Tipperary.
The first of this year’s swaps has been announced with Murphy set to spend time in the rugby hotbed of Clermont-Ferrand.
Former Wales and Lions winger Williams will spend this week in Donegal with Murphy’s club Glenswilly, the reigning county champions.
Williams scored an incredible 58 tries in his 87 appearances on the wing for Wales and also two tries in four Lions appearances.
The 39-year-old is familiar with Donegal, but admitted he has a lot to learn about Gaelic football .
“I’ve been to Donegal before, and it’s a lovely part of Ireland, with lovely people, so coming back is great,” said Williams.
“ I’ve never watched a full game of Gaelic football as such so I’m really coming into this completely new to the sport and I’m looking forward to it. The chance to try something completely different now that I have the time to do it is exciting, and I want to take the challenge on and see how I do.”