Ben Morgan chooses England over Wales

As first revealed in The Rugby Paper on Sunday, Ben Morgan has chosen to represent England instead of Wales, who he would have qualified to play for on residency grounds in the coming weeks.

The 22-year-old Bristol-born No 8 said he had thought ‘long and hard’ about his decision after both England and Wales had followed the Scarlets forward’s impressive progress since he joined the West Wales region in May 2009. Morgan has appeared 42 times in a Scarlets shirt with 15 points.

In a personal statement released via his regional club, the Scarlets, Ben Morgan said: “I feel privileged and honoured that both Wales and England have been following me; and it has taken me a while to think over and discuss with my family before I came to the decision of where I’d like to focus my ambitions for the future. But I’m English, I grew up supporting England and as a youngster I always dreamt of playing for England one day. Ultimately, if given the opportunity at international level, I want to try and take things forward with my home country.”

“It’s not about where I see myself in any squad but about putting my name forward and keeping my head down and playing. If I am lucky to be named in any England squad then fantastic but if not then I will knuckle down and work hard to get myself in a position where I will be. Right now it’s about focusing on my rugby and putting my all in to my career with the Scarlets with some big league and European fixtures ahead of us this month.”

Nigel Davies, Head of Rugby at the Scarlets said: “While we’ve known interest has been shown in Ben by Wales as well as England following a run of strong and eye-catching performances for us; it’s a personal decision – and nobody can question Ben for setting his sights on the pride and dream of playing for his home country of England.

“He has progressed well, worked hard and shown great commitment and determination to take his rugby career forward and has become a big and influential part of our forwards play. We fully support him on his decision and if he makes it into the England squad in the future, he will have our complete backing as do all our current internationals when they play for their country.”

19 thoughts on “Ben Morgan chooses England over Wales

  1. What’s the spread on the time of the first Welsh person to reply saying he wouldn’t get in the Wales side anyways?

  2. I’ve only watched him a few times but always thought he was quite good. Anyone think hes hes worth an England cap. I do see 8 as a problem position…

    1. I agree Nick. We have players to fill in their, but few out and out 8’s. Only really Waldrom, Easter & Narraway. Robshaw has played 8 for Quins but is better at 6.

  3. On the Faletau question I’ve seen him put in flashes (or 40 minute sessions) of brilliance but don’t know if hes quite as good as the hype suggests yet but he has all the potential.

    1. I have to say that I thought that he was a weak link before the RWC, but he played much better in the tournament. As with every player starting out in internationals, whether they are a flash in the pan, at the start of a long and illustrious career or something in the middle – only time will tell!

  4. This makes the back row selection for Lancaster a bit more tricky. Croft, Wood, Robshaw are all competing for the six (or 7) shirt, but Morgan would be a good option at 8. I think Waldrom is most likely at the moment, but he’s not getting any younger. Easter is too old, fat and slow for an international number 8. So Morgan, Dowson, possibly Robshaw for the no 8 shirt.

  5. I think Ben Morgan would have been selected in the six nations squad if he’d opted for Wales… but I’m not so sure he’ll be in the England squad but glad to see someone following their heart! What’s the rules these days with players playing outside of England? No doubt Scarlets are happy hes officially English now as the Wales players disappear for so much time in the year!

  6. Morgan would not have shifted Faletau whose form with the Dragoms remains excellent (unfortunately Faleteau is starting to look like the one grown up playing with the juniors there which is not his fault )but his Morgan’s availability would have helped with strength in depth ,his surname would cetainly rthave made him easier to pass off as homegrown ;-)

    Technically Morgan is an overseas player albeit the Bristol Channel and doesn’t that disqualify him from selection with the RFU’s current policy ? He’s tied to the Scarlets until the end of 2013 season I believe.

  7. Playing overseas i mean ie not in the Premiership not born there I accept he is English and has made the right choice for that reason.

  8. Sounds like Morgan will be in England’s squad…here’s a quote from Rowntree today:

    “We’ve been looking at him for some time… looking to get him on board very quickly.”

  9. I’m a south african in CT and I’m loving the Aviva games. Obviously in the back of my mind putting an england 15 together. But struggling, who will partner Lawes at lock, obviously line out focused player I guess? Who do you eng fans see as the next skipper, robshaw is the only one that seems like a great leader?

    Off the top of my head here is my eng 15, please comment and say if its OK or if it sucks?haha

    15 Foden 14 Ashton 13 Farrell 12 Twelvetrees 11 Strettle 10 Flood 9 Youngs(would have been Mr Care) 8 Waldrom 7 Saul 6 Robshaw 5 Attwood(???) 4 Lawes 3 Corbisiero 2 Hartley 1 Stevens

    But what about Tuilagi, Croft, Barrit, Mike Brown etc

    Would love some feedback!

    Thanks

  10. Daniel S – not too far away from my team actually to start against Scotland. Robshaw or Wood for Captain – happy witheither. Also, this team takes into consideration recent/current injuries (hence Tuilagi and Lawes on bench).

    1. Corbisiero
    2. Hartley
    3. Cole
    4. Attwood
    5. Robson
    6. Robshaw
    7. Wood
    8. Morgan
    9. Youngs
    10. Flood
    11. Sharples
    12. Barritt
    13. Farrell
    14. Ashton
    15. Foden

    16. Gray
    17. Marler or Stevens
    18. Lawes
    19. Croft
    20. Dickson
    21. Tuilagi
    22. Brown

  11. 1. Corbisiero
    2. Hartley
    3. Stevens
    4. Attwood
    5. Robson
    (I want Lawes and Palmer but can’t)
    6. Croft/Robshaw
    7. Wood
    8. Robshaw/Morgan
    9. Youngs
    10. Flood
    11. Sharples
    12. Barritt
    13. not sure now Tuilagis gone, Trinder maybe?
    14. Ashton
    15. Foden

    16. not sure really
    17. Cole or Marler
    18. Deacon
    19. Croft
    20. Simpson
    21. Farrel
    22. Brown (Don’t think hes a great bench man tho as he only covers 15)

  12. Hi again

    Real cool to see your teams, helps me learn a bit more… See you both have Sharples on left wing, have never seen him play due to we only getting certain matches here in SA…but there is a Gloucester match on this weekend so that will give me chance. Also amped to watch Trinder play, have only read about him but have not seen much.

    How long is Palmer and Lawes out for? Do you guys rate Mouritz Botha the ex-pat South African? Saw he had nice impact for Saracens against Harlequins last week…

    Nic Hill you say Tuilagi is gone, did see him in the last Tiger match they viewed here so was wondering, injured or whats the problem?

    Twelvtrees seems pretty solid and a front foot 12, how is he rated that side? Barrit I obviously enjoy as an South African looking in ha-ha…

  13. Mallinder said Lawes “will certainly be out for a few weeks.” so he could be back towards the start of the tournament

    Tuilagi “struggling to be fit for the start of England’s Six Nations” says BBC so shouldn’t miss much of it either.

    Palmer isn’t available due to being based in France, pretty sure the RFU have said no overseas players anymore. This is a massive shame as in my opinion Palmer has been our best forward over the last couple of years.

    Just read Deacon is out for 4 months, I’m not a huge fan tbh but that does leave us a little thin on the ground for 2nd rowers.

    Add Care into the list of “not availables” and there are quite a few missing from a match-day 22.

  14. Ah OK, I see says the blind man, so with the Palmer things I guess thats end of Haskell as well…

    Sjoe alot of stuff going on regarding team selection, almost makes me happy that my beloved drama-filled Springboks aint playing at the moment, coz I think we’ll have as many selection probs this year.

    Sjoe cool guys, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, really getting into English rugby lately, love it:-)

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