But Declan Kidney showed no hesitation in handing him the captaincy for the tour match against the Maori which Ireland lost 31-28.
Even that though could not take the gloss off Murphy's day as he prepares for another title charge with Leicester.
He said: "It doesn't really get any better than that - the result wasn't what we wanted but it's a massive honour for me and something I'll never forget.
"I've been captain before but this was a different experience for me - I think sometimes there is too much emphasis placed on the captaincy but that doesn't take anything away from getting it.
"It was a good tour to be on even if the results didn't go our way. But I'm just looking forward to getting started with Leicester again now.
"Pre-season has been good again and I think we all want to get playing again. What happened last season and in the summer is over now and we've got to look forward again."