England hopes driving Cadan Murley on in race for Premiership try-scorer crown
Cadan Murley will go hunting the Premiership’s top try-scorer gong at Leicester on Saturday, but not at the expense of his responsibilities to Harlequins or ambitions with England.
The flying wing tops the Premiership try-scoring charts heading into tomorrow’s final round of fixtures, sitting ahead of Mateo Carreras with 14 tries to the Newcastle speedster’s 13.
Murley narrowly missed out on the top try-scorer accolade last term, and admitted the desire to claim the glory this time around.
But the 23-year-old also views every outing for Quins as an unofficial England trial, revealing that Test boss Steve Borthwick wants to see his flair players master the prosaic as well as the poetic.
Murley made it into England’s Six Nations squad and loved every minute in head coach Borthwick’s ranks, despite being unable to force his Test debut.
“I just got pipped to the top try-scorer award last season by Max Malins, so it’s definitely something I want to get hold of, but you can’t force it,” said Murley. “You can’t go out of shape to look for opportunities, you’ve got to do your job. But I will definitely be sniffing in and around it this weekend.
“I really enjoyed every moment in the England camp in the Six Nations. It took me out of my comfort zone, challenged me in different ways, things like how we defend, how we kick. It was massively eye-opening. Every week is a chance, an audition to show what I can do, to Steve and the England coaches.”
While any international coach wants their wings to boast a full arsenal of finishes, Murley revealed Borthwick also demands total assurance under the high ball and robust fringe defence.
The stocky and powerful Murley enjoys his status as Harlequins’ fastest man, but might just profit as highly from his formative years in the back-row. Murley’s Cornish father, John, captained the Army and played openside at Quins for two years combined with his military career.
The Harlequins speed king revealed his hopes that some of those hereditary loose-forward skills can propel him to senior England action in this summer’s World Cup warm-up matches and beyond.
“Steve’s given me some things to work on, and it’s not always the flashy stuff, the metres made, the tries,” said Murley. “So that’s a massive thing for me, especially competing against other players who are pushing for World Cup spots.
“I played back-row until I was 16, then my school coach suggested I move out to 12, and I’ve moved out steadily since.
“My dad was fully an openside, and he thought I would be too, but I didn’t grow as much as him and I gained a bit more speed than him!
“I hope I’ve got a few extra things about me than just being an out-and-out speedster.
“Steve wants more dominance in collisions at the edge in defence, and I’ve obviously worked really hard aerially ever since I moved out of the back-row.”