Cameron Murray has revealed Eddie Jones and Rugby Australia never actually made him an offer after signing a bumper contract extension with South Sydney. Wallabies coach Jones had repeatedly named Murray as a high-profile target for the 15-man code, which managed to snare the signature of Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii.
Murray played rugby union as a schoolboy and was repeatedly linked to Jones and the Wallabies, but re-signed with the Rabbitohs this week on a five-year deal worth a reported $4.6 million. Speaking on Tuesday, Murray made the shock revelation that Jones and Rugby Australia never even made him an offer or came calling.
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"I never heard from rugby union, I never spoke to anyone there," said Murray, who will be 30 by the time his Souths contract expires in 2028 - one year after the Wallabies host the Rugby World Cup. "I'm happy now that my future for the next five years is locked up, I don't have to keep talking about it, to be honest.
"It got a little bit annoying. But on the one hand, it was a little bit flattering to obviously be in the conversation. I guess I'm someone who likes to fly under the radar a little bit and not have their name flying around the headlines too much."
Souths officials have confirmed there are no clauses in Murray's new deal which would allow him to break his contract and switch to rugby. The new deal wipes out any chance of him lining up for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions in 2025 and the 2027 World Cup on home soil.
"It is an absolute honour to captain this club, to play alongside my teammates and to work with my coaches and the staff," Murray said in a statement on Monday. "It's my responsibility now to repay that trust with my performances on the field and my actions off the field. I'm excited about the next five years but, as always, my focus and that of the team is on our next assignment at Accor Stadium on Friday night."
Cameron Murray's welcome news amid dramas at Souths
The news of Murray's re-signing comes as a welcome development for Souths amid the off-field turmoil that has engulfed the club. It's been a huge week for the Rabbitohs captain, who also announced that fiancee Miranda Cross is pregnant with their first child.
The 25-year-old will now turn his attention to rescuing South Sydney's ailing finals charge ahead of Friday night's blockbuster meeting with the Sydney Roosters. The Rabbitohs, who led the competition after 11 rounds, need to win to secure their place in the finals or they'll be going on holidays.
"It's a massive game, we're all looking forward to it. Those are games you want to play in," Murray said. "You want to test yourself against great opposition and the Roosters have been playing really well and we've obviously got a big rivalry with them. We're not thinking about what ifs, we're thinking about playing our best footy - we're not thinking about what happens if we lose, more how good it would it be if we get the result we're hoping for."
Murray's re-signing follows a week of turmoil at the Rabbitohs, which led to assistant coach and club legend Sam Burgess leaving with immediate effect. Burgess had clashed with head coach Jason Demetriou over perceived preferential treatment afforded to fullback Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker.
Mitchell will be unavailable to face the Roosters after copping a suspension against the Knights two weeks ago. Souths fans were delighted to hear of Murray's decision to stay, while also sending congratulations about the pregnancy news.
Awesome news. ❤️💚👏👏
— Karina Haase (@KarinaHaase) August 28, 2023
Finally some positive news.
— Aaron Eugol (@ajl247) August 28, 2023
— Southsbabe (@southsbabe) August 28, 2023
Yesss Skip ❤️💚
— The Cast Patrol (@thecastpatrol) August 28, 2023
But we were told he wants to go to rugby because he hates it at Souths 🤷🏼♂️
— DolphinsDownUnder (@FunnyCants) August 28, 2023
Oh my goodness, congratulations!!!
— kate lal (@lal_kate) August 27, 2023
— Wardypg (@Wardypg3) August 28, 2023
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