But Ireland boss Declan Kidney has persuaded the Leicester full back to make himself available for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations.
Murphy has made it clear to his international coach that he isn't interested in just making up the numbers, however.
The 33-year-old, who won a Test cap for the Lions in the third rubber against the All Blacks seven years ago, will act as injury cover rather than an extra bag carrier and may not be named in Ireland's initial training squad.
"I've spoken with Declan and we thrashed it out," Murphy told the Irish Independent.
"I didn't want to be one of those players who retired and then came back.
"I'm not looking at achieving a lot by holding a (tackle) bag for a week or two, though. But if there are any injuries, I'd be happy to come in and be part of a match-day 22 or 23.
"I suppose I'm on stand-by really. I said I'd hang around for another few months at least."
Murphy has won a total of 74 caps for Ireland since making his international debut back in 2000.
He captained his country against the New Zealand Maori in June 2010 but was expected to miss out on selection for the 2011 World Cup thanks to Felix Jones' fine form.
Injury to the Munster youngster saw Murphy earn a reprieve and, with Jones still sidelined, Murphy's experience could be crucial as Kidney looks to bolster his options at full back.