9:02am Monday 2nd June 2014
MATTHEW Morgan says it was the lure of a fresh challenge outside Wales that saw him turn down an offer from Newport Gwent Dragons, writes Chris Kirwan.
The uncapped 22-year-old will join Bristol after heading to South Africa as part of Warren Gatland's 32-man squad.
Morgan sneaked into the touring party as a full-back rather than his preferred position of fly-half after a dazzling performance for the Possibles against the Probables in the second half of Friday's trial in Swansea.
It was a last hurrah at the Liberty Stadium for the Bridgend native, who grew frustrated at his lack of game time behind Wales' first choice 10 Dan Biggar and current IRB junior world player of the year Sam Davies.
He could have been playing his rugby at Rodney Parade next season but the diminutive fly-half turned down the Dragons in favour of big-spending Bristol.
That decision will see him playing second-tier rugby if the West Country outfit fail to overturn a 19-point deficit in the second leg of their Championship playoff final against London Welsh on Wednesday but Morgan has no regrets.
"It was a bit disappointing from the Ospreys end but I met up with (Bristol management team) Sean Holley and Andy Robinson and it interested me," he said.
"I like the way Bristol play their rugby. They have blitzed things this season and hopefully they will keep playing that brand of rugby.
"I did have an offer from Newport Gwent Dragons but not the Ospreys. I just decided I wanted a change and a new challenge.
"Because I haven't been in the Welsh set-up before, I thought I had nothing to lose by going to England. I thought I'd just go and give it my best shot."
Morgan thrived when the trial game lost its shape after a raft of substitutions in the second half, making yards with ball in hand rather than using his right boot from 15.
He has his deficiencies in terms of defence and game management but Morgan is a scintillating runner and has pledged not to change when he gets a chance against Eastern Province Kings in Wales' warm-up game.
"I won't change. That's the way I play and I like it," he said. "They have hard grounds out there and if I get a chance I'll do my best and give it 100 per cent.
"Hopefully, if I can train hard over the next week, then whatever happens will happen. I'll just give it my best shot.
"They have said I'm going to be going as a full-back, which I don't mind as long as I'm on the plane. I'll go as any position."
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