The Toughest Trade has allowed Michael Murphy to travel to France to play a spot of rugby with Clermont Auvergne. Pat Holmes may be pleased to learn that the producers are belatedly heeding his advice. We should say that Murphy not the first All-Ireland champion to play rugby union in France.
David Hickey travelled to La Rochelle with Ollie Campbell in the early 1980s, seeking to give a rugby a whirl. He stayed there for two years. We know there's been a bit of an exodus in Donegal this week but it really will be time to start panicking if Murphy decides he likes France enough to stay for two years.
Wales's record try scorer Shane Williams stepped into Murphy's shoes for Glenswilly in Donegal.
(A brave move in a Lions year. Ostensibly, the relations between the four countries should never be better than in Lions year. In fact, they're never worse as each country starts bickering over selection. Shane may know something about this having recently selected a mere three Irishmen in his putative Lions team. We trust he wasn't given a hard time about this in the north-west.)
Those in that part of the world can confirm that the weather in Donegal was truly atrocious tonight. And desperately inhospitable for football. But tonight was the night when the challenge match was organised. They played St. Mary's of Convoy this evening.
Rachel Solon's tweet from the venue gave us a glimpse of the conditions.
— Rachel Solon (@RachelSolon) January 12, 2017
It being a challenge match, we know the result wasn't important, but Glenswilly inform us that Williams's performance was "magic". He clipped over 0-4 in the awful weather.
— Glenswilly Gaa (@GaaGlenswilly) January 12, 2017
A clear improvement on poor Roberto Wallace who had a bit of difficulty in front of goal while playing for Breaffy last year. He did at least get to meet Enda Kenny though. It remains to be seen whether Shane Williams was granted an audience with Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher. We'll have to wait for the programme.
— DonegalNow (@DonegalNowNews) January 12, 2017
Picture credit: Sportsfile