Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 12 February Kick-off:14:15 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and online from 16:00 GMT; listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Scotland; text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

New Wales cap Jac Morgan will continue Wales’ open-side flanker conveyor belt of recent times when he runs out against Scotland for his international debut.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is currently without British and Irish Lions back rowers Justin Tipuric, Josh Navidi, Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate.

But the production line of magnificent sevens continues, this time in a small part of the Swansea Valley, when Morgan becomes the 1,177th Welsh men’s international this weekend.

He will join his fellow 22-year-old Taine Basham in the back row alongside Ross Moriarty in Cardiff.

BBC Sport Wales charts the rise of Wales’ newest foraging flanker.

Small acorns

Hailing from Brynamman, Morgan is a fluent Welsh speaker who went to Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford.

At the age of six, Morgan began his career at Cwmtwrch RFC, where he played for around 10 years.

Keith Roberts, known as “Bertie”, coached the rising Ospreys star from the age of eight.

“You could tell there was something special, even from that early age,” said Roberts.

“He is the best reader of the game I have coached and is very level headed. When he came here, he was conscious of his height, but we told him he would grow.

“Now he is six foot and reached where he wanted to be.”

Roberts was already planning to be at Principality Stadium this weekend, but that did not stop Morgan offering his old coach a ticket.

“I am a very emotional guy and I don’t have any more tears left,” said Roberts.

“It is a proud moment for us as a club and his lovely family as well.

“I am going to the game and it will be an emotional day, especially the build-up and the anthem.

“The Cwmtwrch clubhouse will also be packed and it will be a rush to get back here afterwards.”

A young Jac Morgan with Cwmtwrch coach Bertie Roberts
A young Jac Morgan with Cwmtwrch coach “Bertie” Roberts

Morgan played with the son of former Wales scrum-half and captain Robert Jones in his junior years.

“I knew Jac from an early age, he played with my son Tiaan up in Cwmtwrch and went through all the ages as a small back row at the time,” added Jones.

“Even at a young age, you could tell he was a talented and committed individual who had great tackle technique and was fantastic over the ball.

“The stand out thing was his ability to read the game and his leadership.”

Morgan went onto play with Amman United youth and had a few games for home village Brynamman in 2018 after finishing the Under-18s Six Nations.

“We are over the moon somebody else from the village will play for Wales,” said Andrew Roberts, Brynamman RFC club secretary and director.

“We have known for years he had the attributes and skills to make the top level.

“For it to happen is a wonderful achievement for him and the village. We will have a large screen in the club on Saturday.

“It is going to be our 125th anniversary at the start of next season and he will be only the fourth player to have a full Wales cap.

“The others are Jac Elfyn Evans in 1924 and Denzil Evans and Clem Thomas in the 1950s.

“We have also adopted Shane Williams as a Brynamman boy on account his father comes from the village.”

As a 17-year-old, Morgan also made plans for life outside of rugby by enrolling on a mechanical engineering apprenticeship course.

Morgan was in and out of the Scarlets academy system and also signed for Aberavon in 2018 as he was released to play as a semi-professional for the Wizards in the Premiership, a move which helped kick-start his career.

“We sat down with Jac and his Dad and outlined what we thought we could do to aid his development and wish of becoming a professional rugby player,” said Aberavon head coach Jason Hyatt.

“When he joined us it was roughly August, his attitude was phenomenal. That was what impressed me, when we met him he was 18 and it wasn’t so much what Aberavon could do for him, the one question Jac had for us was what could he do to improve us.

“The amount of time he played then up to Christmas was impressive, he played more than 1,000 minutes of rugby, and he was picked up by Wales Under-20s and ultimately earned him a contract back with the Scarlets.

“His biggest asset, as well as his superb talent, is his ability to bring the best out of everyone around him.

“We’ll be over the moon (when he plays for Wales) and proud we played a small part in Jac’s development.”

Jac Morgan celebrates after leading Wales Under-20s to victory over England in 2020
Jac Morgan celebrates after leading Wales Under-20s to victory over England in 2020

Morgan made himself a force in age grade rugby, captaining Wales Under-18s and 20s, which included a famous win over New Zealand in 2019.

He worked closely with former Wales Under-20s coach Gareth Williams, who is now part of Pivac’s backroom senior staff.

“He’s been knocking on the door for a while and I hope we see that competitive side on the weekend, he’s so deserving of his place,” said Williams.

“He’s had to bide his time in a competitive position, but that’s the sort of person he is.

“He’s desperate to prove people wrong and has accepted every challenge that’s come his way.

“Since coming in he’s kept his head down, worked hard, but also he’ll speak up when it’s called for.

“He talks at the right moments and has an old head on young shoulders. He’s a fantastic character off the field and a brilliant player on it.”

Once embedded in the senior game, Morgan shone for the Scarlets before deciding to switch to local rivals Ospreys for the start of the 2021-22 season.

After some stellar performances, Morgan attracted the attention of Pivac as he was called up for the 2022 Six Nations squad and is now on the brink of his first cap.

“It just goes to show what can be achieved,” said Pivac.

“There are performances on the park in a Test match that carry a lot of weight, but it is also what you do in training, and he has done everything asked for him.

“We are all looking forward to seeing Jac out there. It will be a great opportunity for him and his family.

Jac Morgan will become Wales' second new cap of the 2022 Six Nations tournament following hooker Dewi Lake
Jac Morgan will become Wales’ second new cap of the 2022 Six Nations tournament following hooker Dewi Lake

“He’s been throwing himself about and you’ll see a big performance. He certainly won’t be lacking in effort.”

Morgan will tackle Scotland’s British and Irish Lions flanker Hamish Watson, who was named the 2021 Six Nations player of the tournament.

“It’s a massive challenge, isn’t it?” said Pivac.

“Hamish Watson is a fantastic player and been at the top of his game for a number of years.

“No matter who we have put out over the last couple of years, Watson has been right in the thick of a Scotland-Wales game.

“It will be a big test for young Jac, but one I know he and we are looking forward to.”



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