Morgan Morris v Ulster

Q&A with Morgan Morris

What were your first memories of rugby and who has been the biggest influence on your career?

I was ten or 11 when I started playing rugby at Primary school. I used to play football, but as soon as I played rugby that was pretty much it for me. I just remember loving running at people.  I stopped playing football as soon as I discovered rugby. My mum and dad have been the biggest influence on my career, driving me to training and games, and they have always just been there for me.

Morgan Morris
"I always looked up to and admired Talupe Faletau and Justin Tipuric. Those are the back rowers who I really looked up to and watched."

When did rugby start to get serious for you and when did you realize it was something you wanted to do professionally?

I went to Hartpury College and then I came back home. I had about three years away, it was an amazing experience because you learn so much and to come back was really refreshing too.  I was 16 when I first moved away, it made me pretty independent and I was used to being on my own a lot. It probably made me grow up, which was a good thing.  To see all the pitches, the gyms there, it was a no-brainer for me, at the time. I had some contact with Gloucester Under-18s but mainly just played for Hartpury.  Then, I came back and was picked up almost straight away by the Ospreys Academy.  


Morgan Morris v Ulster 2

Have you always played in the back row and what position do you think you are more suited to?

I have always played in the back row and I love playing there because you get the ball a lot.  You get a chance to run with the ball, use your hands and are just more involved with the ball and the play when you play across the back row.  My preferred position is Number 8, for the same reasons really. You get your hands on the ball more and you are competing for the ball, with carrying, tackle-jackals and running with the ball. It just means you have lots of involvement and touches in a game. Ball carrying is my biggest strength and getting over the gain line is a key part of my game and beating defenders.  One thing I am working on is becoming more dominant in defence. The challenge for me is to get my attack and defence at the same level, making my game more rounded.


Do you have any rugby heroes or players you looked up to and based your game around?

I always looked up to and admired Talupe Faletau and Justin Tipuric. Those are the back rowers who I really looked up to and watched. Then, of course, there is somebody like Richie McCaw. They are the players I loved and love watching, just because they are the best at what they do. It’s still crazy, to me, just training and playing alongside, Justin. I have started to get used to it but he is always available and willing to help out the younger players at the Ospreys. Dan Lydiate is exactly the same. They are always willing to give some tips to improve your game and it’s great that they are willing to do that. It gives you a chance to learn from the best. 


You made a real impact last year and had a breakthrough season, what are your goals for the new campaign? 

I just want to play as much rugby as I can. I had a decent year last season. Now I really want to nail down a starting jersey for the Ospreys.  I just want to get hold of the Number 8 jersey and play as much as I can now. Toby Booth has brought a big culture theme to the Ospreys and brought all us together and as a team really made all of us feel part of this bigger team. It’s exciting.