Teen centre Tyler Morgan gives a glimpse of the future with impressive Dragons display

Campaign Series: Tyler Morgan (5565374) Tyler Morgan (5565374)

THE ODDS would be short on Tyler Morgan's first appearance at the Millennium Stadium being his last.

The 18-year-old made his RaboDirect Pro12 debut for Newport Gwent Dragons in the 20-10 loss to the Ospreys at the Judgement Day double-header.

The former Caerleon Comprehensive pupil, who made a pair of appearances in the LV= Cup last autumn, was meant to be among the replacements only for Pat Leach's late withdrawal with a virus to lead to a promotion.

He slotted in alongside fellow teenager Jack Dixon to lock horns with Wales internationals Ashley Beck and Jonathan Spratt and the young pair did admirably.

Not only did Morgan stand firm in defence but he played a key role in scrum-half Richie Rees' try, bursting down the right before offloading under pressure from two tacklers.

His exploits won't have come as a surprise to those that have watched him shine while coming through the ranks with the academy or those that have seen him excel for Newport in the Premiership.

Morgan played on the wing for Wales Under-20s during the Six Nations and is set to be a member of the squad that heads to New Zealand for the Junior World Championship this summer.

He has long been talked of as Test player in the making, tipped to impress in the red of Wales at the Millennium Stadium but Morgan will never forget turning out at the famous venue in his regional colours.

"It was a great place to make my league debut," he said. "When I was running out through the tunnel I was expecting a big crowd but when I came out I thought 'Jesus!' and froze for a second before focusing.

"It was a great atmosphere and the best I had ever played in. I had been training all week and knew I was going to be in the squad but thought I was going to be on the bench.

"But we found out the day before Pat Leach was not very well and it was 50/50 whether he would be ok. Unfortunately he was unwell but I was lucky to have the opportunity to start."

Morgan has frequently shown this season that he is a threat will ball in hand, running in four times in nine appearances for the Black and Ambers while he crossed the whitewash twice for Wales Under-18s in a pair of games against Australia Schools.

But his first Pro12 outing presented the opportunity to quash any fears about his defence; the Dragons made 153 tackles to the Ospreys' 74.

"We were under the cosh in the first half, we just defended and defended," said Morgan.

"Compared to the Treviso game (when thumped 45-27) our defence was outstanding, we were making tackles and stopping them from getting over the gain-line."

Morgan is likely to add to his Pro12 appearances against the Scarlets and Treviso as the Dragons are without centres Ashley Smith and Ross Wardle because of foot and knee injuries respectively.

Comments (6)

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3:58pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Thor at the door says...

According to the media every youn star will play for Wales one day. Makes me sick watching and reading about all these little academy players getting easy shots at the big time.

In my day there was no exposure for young players, no media coverage, no Internet etc.

If there was, I am sure some of the lads I played with would have gone far in the game. Now it seems age grade caps and 1st div rugby is a given to the academy kids.

Yes I am somewhat envious too!!!!!!
According to the media every youn star will play for Wales one day. Makes me sick watching and reading about all these little academy players getting easy shots at the big time. In my day there was no exposure for young players, no media coverage, no Internet etc. If there was, I am sure some of the lads I played with would have gone far in the game. Now it seems age grade caps and 1st div rugby is a given to the academy kids. Yes I am somewhat envious too!!!!!! Thor at the door
  • Score: -26

6:18pm Tue 22 Apr 14

calvinhunt1950@gmail.com says...

Thor at the door, obviously you did not watch the game,tyler morgan had a fantastic game,forget the media, this boy has a big, big future,lets hope he proves you so so wrong.
Thor at the door, obviously you did not watch the game,tyler morgan had a fantastic game,forget the media, this boy has a big, big future,lets hope he proves you so so wrong. calvinhunt1950@gmail.com
  • Score: 16

6:51pm Tue 22 Apr 14

mep says...

Showed a lot of promise hope coaches don't turn him into a head down centre that Gatland seems to go for!!!!
Showed a lot of promise hope coaches don't turn him into a head down centre that Gatland seems to go for!!!! mep
  • Score: 9

9:46pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Euwan Usami says...

He's been superb for Newport. I wondered how he would cope with the step up and he was superb again. Don't underestimate what a talent he is. He makes the game look easy, the best always do. I expect to see alot more from the guy in a Dragons shirt next season.
He's been superb for Newport. I wondered how he would cope with the step up and he was superb again. Don't underestimate what a talent he is. He makes the game look easy, the best always do. I expect to see alot more from the guy in a Dragons shirt next season. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 14

2:59am Wed 23 Apr 14

Dragonsfan81 says...

He showed good touches, and the ability to offload and step under pressure which created the richie rees try! This kid to me has a big future, who needs gavin henson ey?
He showed good touches, and the ability to offload and step under pressure which created the richie rees try! This kid to me has a big future, who needs gavin henson ey? Dragonsfan81
  • Score: 11

9:20am Wed 23 Apr 14

broadsworddan says...

I was there and this boy stuck out like boobs on a fish! It was so obvious he had extra time on the ball, his tackles were superb (got a penalty out of big gar with his tackling technique) and he made good choices in the right areas. I'm not suggesting he's gonna be the best player the world has ever seen... But he could be!... Why not? Why should others deserve success more? If he works hard and obsessively commits extra time to his art, then he could be brilliant. All of our young players COULD be great. They just need to believe and commit. Well done Tyler, keep it up!
I was there and this boy stuck out like boobs on a fish! It was so obvious he had extra time on the ball, his tackles were superb (got a penalty out of big gar with his tackling technique) and he made good choices in the right areas. I'm not suggesting he's gonna be the best player the world has ever seen... But he could be!... Why not? Why should others deserve success more? If he works hard and obsessively commits extra time to his art, then he could be brilliant. All of our young players COULD be great. They just need to believe and commit. Well done Tyler, keep it up! broadsworddan
  • Score: 10

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