Luke Morgan fast-tracked for wing debut for Wales

Former sevens star only made his first appearance for Ospreys two months ago

Luke Morgan: The 26-year-old Ospreys wing had a six-year career in sevens rugby, becoming Wales’ record try scorer in the format. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

Luke Morgan: The 26-year-old Ospreys wing had a six-year career in sevens rugby, becoming Wales’ record try scorer in the format. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

 

Luke Morgan will make his debut for Wales against Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday less than two months after his first appearance for Ospreys in the Guinness Pro14 having made the switch from the sevens circuit.

The 26-year-old wing had a six-year career in sevens, becoming Wales’ record try scorer, but was tempted to try the 15-a-side version of the game by Ospreys, the region he spent a few months with seven years ago.

Wales head coach, Warren Gatland, who was back in the squad’s camp on Wednesday night after returning to New Zealand for the funeral of his father, was impressed by Morgan’s pace and finishing. The Osprey takes the place of Steff Evans, who has struggled for form this season.

The only other uncapped player in the 23 for the match, which being outside the international window means Wales could not select Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Tomas Francis and Josh Adams, is the Cardiff Blues outhalf Jarrod Evans.

Gatland has picked a largely experienced starting line-up with an eye on next week’s match against Wales’ World Cup group opponents Australia, but he has omitted his leading props Rob Evans and Samson Lee – the latter is not even on the bench.

Nearly half the 57 caps on the bench belong to the former with Gatland rewarding players who stood out on the summer tour to Argentina, including the scrumhalf Tomos Williams and the flanker Aaron Wainwright.

“We have picked players on form and we are looking forward to seeing Luke make his debut,” said Wales attack coach, Rob Howley.

“Warren was in constant dialogue with us during the week and we have selected a strong squad. The summer allowed us to develop good strength in depth and bringing back seven Lions gives us a good balance.”

Gareth Anscombe makes only his fourth start at outhalf in his 19 Tests with Biggar unavailable because he joined Northampton in the summer and Rhys Patchell following return to play protocols after suffering two concussions this season.

WALES (v Scotland): L Halfpenny; G North, J Davies, H Parkes, L Morgan; G Anscombe, G Davies; N Smith, K Owens, D Lewis; C Hill, AW Jones (capt); D Lydiate, J Tipuric, R Moriarty.

Replacements: E Dee, R Evans, L Brown, A Beard, A Wainwright, T Williams, J Evans, S Evans.

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