The 22-year-old has been impressing in the Pro14 and here he talks through his rugby roots
Ospreys back-row Morgan Morris
Date of birth 28 August 1998 Born Swansea Position Back-row Region Ospreys Country Wales
When did you first play rugby?
At 11, at primary school. I started off with football but as soon as I started rugby I stopped football. I liked running at people!
What positions have you played?
I’ve only ever played back-row. You get the ball a lot, which is the best thing about rugby. No 8 is my favourite – you get involved the most, with tackling, jackling, running a lot. You just get the most involvements in the game.
What are your strengths?
Ball-carrying is the biggest strength, I’m quite good at getting over the gain-line and beating defenders.
Probably being more dominant in defence, matching defence with attack to make my game more rounded.
Who were your childhood heroes?
Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Richie McCaw… I liked watching back-rows who were the best at what they do. It’s a bit crazy seeing Justin every day now, but I’m getting used to it. All the back-rows, him and Dan Lydiate as well, give tips on what I can do better and it’s good to learn from them.
When did you link up with the Ospreys?
After playing U16s, I went to Hartpury College for three years and then I came back. Sean Marsden, the Hartpury coach at the time, rang me and I went to have a look around; it’s amazing as a young rugby player with the pitches and gym and stuff there, so it was a no-brainer to go.
I was 16 when I first moved away and it probably made me more independent; I grew up as well. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. I did a little bit with Gloucester U18 but mainly the college team, then Andy Lloyd offered me the chance to join the Ospreys Academy.
What are your goals for 2021?
To play as much rugby as I can. I had a decent year last year and want to nail down a starting jersey at the Ospreys, hopefully get that No 8 jersey as much as I can.
How have you found Toby Booth as coach?
I’m really enjoying it. He’s brought a big culture theme with him and we all feel close together, one big team, all as one.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My parents. My mum and dad always helped me to do what I wanted to do, drove me where I needed to be.
RW Verdict: Toby Booth wants to build his Ospreys side around local talent and Morris is set to be a key part of that plan. The 22-year-old, who has represented Wales at U16, U18 and U20 level, is dynamic in attack and has a high work-rate.
This article originally appeared in the February 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine.
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