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Euan Murray 'excited' to join Worcester


Sunday sport does not suit the destructive Scotland scrummager Euan Murray, whose devout Christian beliefs mean more to him than a game of rugby, so his decision to make Worcester his next port of call makes sense. The Midlanders do not much like Sabbath matches either – their home games at Sixways are invariably played at the start of the weekend rather than the end of it – so Murray's return to these shores from a brief loan spell with the French club Agen was always going to be of interest.

One of the props chosen for the last British and Irish Lions jaunt, to South Africa in 2009, the tight-head specialist has spent the last 20 months on Newcastle's books, but the Tynesiders' relegation from the Premiership made life awkward for both parties: the player needed top-level rugby to maximise his prospects at international level – particularly in another Lions season – while the club needed to be "realistic" in living within their means, as their rugby director, Dean Richards, acknowledged yesterday.

Murray's connection with Agen ends next month and he is likely to be a regular part of the Worcester line-up once the autumn Test window closes. "I'm really excited about getting involved with them," said the 32-year-old forward. "I've done a fair bit of research and they are definitely moving in the right direction. They have an impressive team sheet there."

Sale have been anything but impressive: they are bottom of the Premiership, having lost all five of their matches. They are unlikely to find life much easier at the Salford City Stadium tonight for the visitors are Leicester, who include the much talked-about George Ford at outside-half.

The home side have recalled the Scotland forwards Richie Gray and Richie Vernon, along with Will Addison, who replaces the suspended Tom Brady on the wing.