Athlete of the Issue: Ben Murphy ’19

Ryan Maher

Ben Murphy ’19 has always been into sports, playing basketball, football and baseball in his middle school years. However, Murphy found his passion for rugby his freshman year.

Murphy’s older brother played rugby during his time at Malvern. He was a graduate in the class of 2014, and Ben looked forward to following in his brother’s footsteps.

“I always anticipated joining the rugby team as soon as I came to Malvern. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I was going to like it,” Murphy said.

Murphy began his Malvern athletic career playing football. He played football his freshman and sophomore year, along with playing rugby in the spring. However, this year Murphy decided to focus on rugby.

“I didn’t see myself continuing in other sports like football, I only saw a future with rugby,” he said.

Rugby at Malvern, Murphy says, is anything but easy. “Almost every practice consists of constant running and working certain skills. Sometimes we hit the weight room, but the majority of our time is spent improving our control and overall game on the field.”

This past month, rugby took a trip to Italy to compete against international teams. Murphy starts at the forward position, and says he learned a lot from the international experience.

“The teams we played were extremely good,” Murphy said. “We lost games and went through a lot of hardship during those games, which taught us a lot about our team and what we need to improve on for the rest of the season.”

While on their trip, Murphy said the team bonded and came together like never before. “Italy was a lot of fun. The team really bonded during the experience,” he said.

Along with playing on Malvern’s varsity team, Murphy plays rugby for Pennsylvania’s club team, which he really enjoys.

“We play other states in tournaments and stuff, which is super cool. You get to meet players from all over the country,” he said.

Looking to the future, Murphy hopes to become one of the leaders of the rugby team and continue the legacy of great Malvern rugby.

“Because not many people in this area, or even the U.S., play the sport of rugby, it is hard to get guys to come out for the team,” Murphy said. “Rugby is a sport that requires a lot of learning.”

One of the things Murphy enjoys the most about the rugby team is the camaraderie and the willingness to help the underclassmen and newcomers learn the sport of rugby.

“Every year we get kids that have never played, or even watched the sport,” he said. “But we help them understand the game, and try to get them involved and playing as much as we can.”

Kaloso Tsoaeli, Malvern’s senior exchange student from South Africa, plays rugby back at home. However, he said Murphy helped him a lot with getting to know the team at Malvern, and the playing strategy.

“Ben has really helped me to understand the team dynamic better, because he is more experienced than me,” Tsoaeli said.

Being a teammate of his, Tsoaeli sees many characteristics in Murphy that make up a great team player. “He is not a selfish player, he goes all out for the team. The team comes first for him,” Tsoaeli said.

Murphy is hoping to run for a possible captain’s spot on the team next year. Junior Luke McClatchy can see Murphy in a leadership position that could really help the team.

“Right now, he is a really great contributor on the field,” McClatchy said. “He really helps kids that are lost and don’t know what they are doing, because that happens a lot in rugby. I could definitely see him being a leader next year.”