By David Williams
Morgan Morris is fast emerging as a talisman for the Ospreys out in South Africa and his ball carrying ability will be much in demand against a wounded Sharks side in Durban.
While the Ospreys were picking up a try bonus-point in their 43-26 defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria in Round 8, the Sharks were put to the sword by Cardiff Rugby at Kings Park, going down 35-0.
They will enter the Round 9 clash with a point to prove, as well as with a new head coach after the departure of Sean Everitt in the wake of the Cardiff defeat. Now the Ospreys are hoping to follow in the footsteps of their Welsh regional rivals in winning for the first time on South African soil against one of the top four Springbok sides.
That’s where Morris, a former Wales U20 back row man, comes heavily into the equation. The Swansea-born No 8 is one of an exciting batch of young homegrown Ospreys talent who have earned their spurs and given a glimpse of the future at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Richard Fussell, the Ospreys Attack coach, underlined the young backrower’s importance to his young team and on the daunting tour of South Africa.
“Morgan has been a talisman for us, and he does his leading by actions, when you see him on the pitch he gives us that go-forward, he is very energetic and likes to get his hands on the ball,” said Fussell.
“He is in a good group of players and we try to get him on the ball as much as possible. He has been fantastic for us and been one of the most consistent players for us.”
Morris has been one of the form players in the regional game this season, producing typical barnstorming performances for the Ospreys during the URC campaign.
“This year I have been more consistent than I was, dipping in and out of form which probably cost me in previous years, and that consistency will help me push on and, hopefully, play for my country,” said Morris.
“I love playing for the Ospreys, I am a Swansea boy through and through, I love the fact I am from Swansea and I just love the Ospreys. Used to watch them growing up, had all the jerseys growing up and always wanted to play for them.
“Playing with Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric, having watched them growing up, it is amazing to play alongside them.”