Warren Gatland reveals why he doesn't pick Morgan Morris for Wales

-Credit: (Image: Gruffydd Thomas/Huw Evans Agency)
-Credit: (Image: Gruffydd Thomas/Huw Evans Agency)

Warren Gatland has explained his decision to not select Morgan Morris, despite the Ospreys No. 8's continued fine form at regional level.

The 25-year-old finished the season strongly, being player of the match in three of the Ospreys' last 10 games. Morris has been knocking at the door for some time, but a Wales call-up has never been forthcoming.

That trend continued for Wales' summer Tests against South Africa and Australia, with Morris not featuring in the 36-man squad.

And when asked to explain why Morris, who has helped the Swansea-based side become the first Welsh side to reach the play-offs since 2018, Gatland pointed to his work off the ball as a possible reason.

"It’s not just the attack stuff," said Gatland. "It’s both sides of the ball that we look at.

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"When we go through the videos and expressing that with the players, it’s not just the stuff we look at around the ball, we look at things off the ball.

"We look at those sorts of things. For Morgan, he’s had some really good games for the Ospreys, we've got a lot of players in those positions as well.

"For him, it is about working and making sure that he does do things on both sides of the ball, not just from an attacking perspective."

The Ospreys' play-off hopes could affect Gatland's squad ahead of the South Africa match, in terms of availability.

And while addressing that possibility, Gatland perhaps offered up another reason why Morris doesn't feature in his plans - pointing to recent heavy defeats to the Bulls and Leinster.

"We'll take things one step at a time," said Gatland about the availability of the Ospreys' players. "They probably didn't think they'd get to this stage, so it's great for them.

"Probably the draw against Munster is one they'd look at as a positive in that they can hopefully go out there and give a good performance. When we look at performances, we look at what we can do in terms of developing them.

"We don't always look at club performances. Sometimes we look at club performances against big teams when they're fully loaded.

"You talk about the Ospreys and it was a good win for them on the weekend, but you look at games when they played against the Bulls and Leinster when they were fully loaded and we make those sort of comparisons."