Wales skipper hopes to end momentous year on a high
It’s been some year for Jac Morgan and now he’s aiming to end it on a high.
The Ospreys flanker finished 2022 having figured only sporadically for Wales under Wayne Pivac, who left him out of that summer’s tour of South Africa.
Twelve months on and Morgan is one of the first names on Warren Gatland’s team-sheet and the man in possession of the captaincy.
That’s on the back of a World Cup where he received glowing plaudits for the way he led by example with his performances on the openside, resulting in him being tipped as a potential skipper for the next British & Irish Lions tour to Australia in 2025.
Ask him how he would have responded had someone told him all this was coming 12 months ago and he replies very honestly.
“I probably wouldn’t have believed them at all if they’d said that this time last year,” he admits.
“The year has flown really. It’s been a good year and I’ve enjoyed it.
“It’s been a hell of an experience, with everything that’s happened, and going to the World Cup.
“Being named captain for that was a hell of an honour, to be able to do it and share it with Dewi (Lake) as well.
“Maybe a lot of people didn’t think we would do as well as we did out in France, but we knew as a squad, with all the hard work we had done, that we would be able to put in performances and I think that’s what we did.
“On reflection, it’s been a busy year, it’s been a good year, I’ve enjoyed it.
“Hopefully, I can finish it on a high with the Ospreys, going into Europe over the next couple of weeks and then the derbies over Christmas in Wales.
“It’s an exciting period.”
Morgan’s region will launch their Challenge Cup campaign with an all-URC tie against Benetton Rugby in Swansea on Saturday evening.
They will be out for revenge, having gone down to an 18-13 league defeat at the hands of the same opponents in Treviso last weekend.
“There were opportunities there where we could have come away with the win,” says the 23-year-old Morgan.
“But full credit to the boys, they were brilliant and it was a narrow one that could have gone either way
“There are a couple of learnings to take from it and we have been working on those ready for the re-match.”
After hosting Benetton, the Ospreys will then travel out to France to take on Montpellier before returning to URC action with festive derbies, away to the Scarlets on Boxing Day and home to Cardiff Rugby at Bridgend’s Brewery Field six days later.
That will take them into the new year. So after everything that has happened to him in 2023, one wonders what lies in store for Morgan in 2024?
“I haven’t really thought too much about it,” said the 15-cap back row man.
“The main target at the minute is to perform with the Ospreys over the next few weeks, with it being such a busy period.
“I like to take things one step at a time as they come and do the best I can for the club and then hopefully things will go further.”
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