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Ben Morgan to leave Scarlets for Gloucester

05 March 2012

  • England No. 8 to move to Gloucester from the Scarlets next season
  • Scarlets understood my international ambitions - Morgan
No. 8 Ben Morgan celebrates England's hard-fought win over Italy in a snowy Rome

Photo: Getty Images

Gloucester have announced that England No. 8 Ben Morgan will be joining them from the Scarlets next season.

Morgan, who won his third international cap in the RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales at Twickenham, joined the Scarlets in May 2009 and has gone on to become a first team regular.

The Bristol-born player was educated in Gloucestershire and began his rugby career down the road from Kingsholm with Dursley RFC.

He had a year left on his contract with the Welsh side but made the decision to move to an Aviva Premiership club to further his international ambitions.

The 23-year-old described the move as a “great opportunity” and added: “I grew up just down the road so Gloucester is my local team and I can’t wait to run out at Kingsholm for the first time.”

Morgan joins Gloucester on a three year contract and said he was impressed by the club’s plans for the future.

But he was quick to praise the Scarlets for supporting his international ambitions and said it had been a difficult decision to move.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the Scarlets and I’m incredibly grateful to so many people for the help they’ve given me along the way,” he said.

“Having opted to pursue an international career with England, they understood my desire to play in England and have been brilliant in the way they’ve handled things.”

Morgan was eligible to play for Wales on the grounds of residency, but in January opted to make himself available for international selection for his home country.

He made his first start for England at Twickenham during the 19-12 defeat to Wales having come on as a replacement in victories over Scotland and Italy.

Morgan, who has appeared 42 times for Scarlets, added: “It has been a staggering season for me and I feel privileged and honoured to have been able to represent both the Scarlets and England. I’m grateful for the opportunities handed to me by the Scarlets to play the top-flight club rugby which led me to international selection and my dream to play for England.

“As a proud Englishman, I feel it’s best that I now take my club career forward within the Aviva Premiership and my home country and I am pleased to be joining Gloucester next season as a club with similar values and ambitions as the Scarlets.”

Ben Morgan makes a break during the Scarlets clash against Northampton Saints

Photo: Getty Images

Head of Scarlets Rugby, Nigel Davies, said “a number of English clubs” had expressed an interest in Morgan.

Davies added: “He’s a thoughtful person and has taken his time to consider the best options given his international aspirations going forward in his future career.  Ben is also a proud Englishman, which we have complete respect for and understand his desire to focus on his England career and to return home for the next stage of his career.

“We wish him well within England and with Gloucester who we have an excellent working relationship with. They are a good team of people with values similar to our own and we’re comfortable with the move which works in a rugby context for all concerned and for both businesses.”