Wales warned not to expect ‘too much too soon’ of Matthew Morgan

13 Apr

Morgan in action for Wales U20s

Ospreys skills coach Gruff Rees has warned against expecting “too much too soon” from Swansea starlet Matthew Morgan, as the young fly-half continues to impress.

Morgan has been in glittering form for the Ospreys and Swansea RFC this season, while he also starred for the Wales Under 20s during the Six Nations.

Some even likened the 18-year-old to Barry John following his virtuoso performance in the Ospreys’ 46-13 thrashing of Leicester.

And while the dynamo attracts yet more attention with every sparkling performance, Rees is urging caution.

“It can be the nature of the game in Wales for people to expect too much too soon of young players,” said Rees.

“There’s a passion for young players coming through and, from a fan’s perspective, I’m as excited as anyone about Matthew. But as a coach, I need to see how he develops.”

In addition to his Ospreys role, Rees also coaches the Wales Under 18 side, and he is well placed to assess the progress of prospects such as Morgan.

“There are still some intricacies lacking in Matthew’s game,” he says. “We’re working on his passing and kicking under pressure, and he’s working hard on improving in these areas.”

Rees coaches with both the Ospreys and Wales U18s

Morgan’s game will certainly benefit from playing more often with the Ospreys’ first team, and his chances of doing so will be enhanced when fellow fly-half James Hook leaves for Perpignan in the summer.

“With James going, Matthew will get more opportunities in the first team next season,” said Rees. “He’s doing well in training with the Ospreys and he’s shown with Swansea he’s very comfortable at Premiership level.”

Even with Hook gone, however, Morgan will still have Wales international Dan Biggar and Dai Flanagan for company in the queue for the number 10 jersey.

“There will be plenty of competition for the number 10 shirt next season,” said Rees. “Dai Flanagan is very underrated. He’s a diligent worker and does a lot of background work which can go unnoticed.”

While the likes of Flanagan may go about their business quietly, however, it seems unlikely Morgan will pass under the radar as he works his way through the ranks for club and country.

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