These are the headlines for rugby night on Tuesday 31 May.
Abandoned Wales star wins league prize
Jac Morgan won the Turnover King award at this season’s United Rugby Championship.
Morgan, who missed out on the Wales squad recently after Wayne Pivac told him I needed to be stronger with the ball, picked up the award after committing 24 turnovers throughout the season. DHL Stormers’ Deon Fourie finished second with 23, while Ulster’s Marcus Rea (19), Ospreys’ Morgan Morris (17) and Dragons’ Ollie Griffiths (16) made up the rest of the top five.
Speaking about his award, Morgan said: “Delighted to win this award this season after losing it last year. It’s been a great first season at the Ospreys and I hope we can all move forward next year as a team and do our best.”
After failing to name him in the squad for the South African tour this summer, Pivac said of Morgan: “I had a good talk with Jac about what we want him to do in the off-season and that’s a great job in terms of what he can do.” in the area of strength and conditioning.
“The game is really physical. Where we are going, South Africa, there are a lot of very big men. We have asked him to improve, if he can, in that area of physicality when he is on the ball, being even stronger than him.
Ospreys head coach Toby Booth went on to express surprise at Pivac’s reasons for dropping the “standout” Morgan, saying, “I’ve had conversations with Wayne about his decisions and obviously I’ve had the conversation about Jac. The only thing I can talk about is the performance that Jac has produced for us.
“He’s been one of our standout players, probably along with Rhys Webb, to be fair. They have been two of our featured players throughout the year.
“Jac is in the top three in tackles completed (in the URC), he’s in the top three in dominating tackles and he’s in the top three in break steals. Wayne knows what he wants to do in South Africa and what kind of game he plays.
“All I can comment on is that I know Jac will use it as fuel to get better. All he can control is what he does next. From a performance standpoint at URC, he has been one of our standout players.”
“I’m surprised? Yeah, I guess I am, really. It’s Wayne’s call. Wayne has his reasons and those questions are really for him.”
Osprey prop man leaves after seven years
Ma’afu Fia leaves the Ospreys after seven seasons with the region
The right prop has been on loan with Bath in the English Premiership since February, having featured for the Ospreys just twice before that this season. The 32-year-old initially signed with the Ospreys in 2015 and went on to make more than 100 appearances.
“I am grateful for the support I have always had from the Ospreys fans during my time in Swansea,” he said.
“I made some good friends and really appreciated everyone’s support for the Tonga earthquake call to help my fellow countrymen in Tonga.”
Welsh Summer Games behind paywall
Wales’s three summer rugby tests against South Africa will only be shown on Sky Sports, with no live Welsh coverage on S4C.
Sky Sports confirmed the news on Tuesday after winning the rights to all series involving the home countries in March. It was hoped that S4C would be able to provide its own Welsh-only coverage after talks in recent weeks. A featured package is still a possibility.
S4C has been able to show Welsh football matches in Welsh in recent years, despite Sky Sports’ “exclusive” rights in the UK in English, but no such situation exists for rugby.
It means that Welsh matches will be entirely behind a paywall, with no live Welsh language provision. In recent years, Amazon Prime Video has shown Welsh autumn rugby matches. In 2020, they struck a deal with S4C to broadcast the games in Welsh before dropping out last year and offering their own Welsh-language coverage.
Australian wing fires warning shot at England
Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete has issued a warning to Eddie Jones’s England, insisting a year in Japan has only made him better.
Koroibete has just helped the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights defeat Suntory Sungoliath, for whom England manager Jones has an advisory role, in Sunday’s Japan Rugby League One final. Following his success, he is expected to be one of three overseas-based players in Australia manager Dave Rennie’s squad to face England on a three-Test tour this summer.
“It will be a good experience. I will bring a lot back. I am looking forward to it,” Koroibete said from Japan, before adding that the move helped him improve his game. “Getting my details right.
“I’ve been working on my catching and passing, my decision-making under pressure. They’ve given me a license to play what’s in front of me. It’s great. They’ve given me the freedom to roam the field.”
“He called me and we’ve been chatting about how I like Japan and how rugby is going,” Koroibete said when asked about Rennie.
“We had a talk if I still want to come and play in the England series. It will be good to come back and visit Australia.”
Koroibete’s club manager in Japan, former Wallabies boss Robbie Deans, expects Koroibete to cause England some trouble.
“He loves to play and get the ball in his hands. If he doesn’t have the ball in his hands, he still finds a way to attack the game,” Deans said.
“Players want passionate people, enthusiastic people, positive people and Marika is all of that.”
The former star of Scotland questions the possible call
John Barclay has questioned Jack Dempsey’s potential switch to play for Scotland under World Rugby’s new eligibility laws.
Limit players can now switch allegiances as long as they have spent the previous three years out of international play and have “a close and credible link by birthright” to the country they are switching to. The idea was to strengthen Tier 2 nations that have seen players opt for traditionally stronger countries.
However, it would also free Glasgow No. 8 Dempsey, who has made 14 caps for Australia, to play for Scotland. However, former Scotland and Scarlets winger Barclay is unsure if such a move would be in the spirit of the law amendment.
“I’ve said before that I don’t think this rule is for that,” he said. the scottish. “For me, it is to help Tier 2 nations bring back players who left at a young age to contribute to a Tier 2 nation in the rugby sense.
“I never saw this rule as a means of Tier 1 nations going to other Tier 1 nations. It’s a bit of a weird situation where you play for Australia for a number of years and then you can qualify to play Scotland.
“As a player, he’s fantastic, but I think Scotland have a lot of good defenders, so it’s a great decision. If you look at the team, it’s riddled with boys who have graduated from residence, boys who have come with Scottish grandparents.
“That’s the nature of the game now and we can’t lament Scotland’s lack of depth at times without saying we look to use every avenue open to us.”