Leeds redraw landscape by replacing Murphy with Quins' Bouza

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Leeds have signed the Argentina lock Pablo Bouza from Harlequins to replace Chris Murphy, who has retired from professional rugby to start a new career as a land surveyor.

Bouza, 33, has been capped 33 times and played for Argentina at the 2003 World Cup and against the British and Irish Lions last summer. He featured only five times in Harlequins' promotion season last year, but Leeds' director of rugby, Stuart Lancaster, believes he can help the Tykes make an immediate return to the Premiership. "Pablo is a vastly experienced international second row, who will be a great addition to our squad for next season," Lancaster said.

Murphy, 30, has also played Premiership rugby for West Hartlepool and Sale and enjoyed a year in the French championship with Pau.

Paul Volley will captain Quins back into the Premiership. The 34-year-old takes over from Andre Vos, the South African loose forward who stood down after three years in the job.

Volley has only just joined Harlequins, on a two-year deal from the French club Castres. Quins' director of rugby, Dean Richards, said: "Some may find it strange to select a player who has only recently joined the squad to take over as captain. But Paul has captained sides before in his career and has tremendous experience, particularly of the club game in England. I have no doubt that he'll lead by example, both on and off the pitch, and be an inspiration to others within the team."

Vos committed himself to Harlequins after they were relegated last year and led them to the National League One title. Richards added: "He has been a tremendous servant to the club and we're delighted that he's decided to stay on for another season, but he he felt the time was right for a change of leadership."

Volley, who spent 16 years with Wasps before signing for Castres, said: "My short-term objectives are to earn the respect of my team-mates and the Quins supporters, while over the next two years I am confident the squad can achieve the goals we have set for ourselves - to qualify for the Heineken Cup and to reach a number of cup finals. There is a great team spirit within the squad."