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Matthew Morgan has chance to shine for Ospreys against Zebre

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 04, 2013

By Dafydd Pritchard

Matthew Morgan wears the No. 15 shirt tonight

Matthew Morgan wears the No. 15 shirt tonight

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MATTHEW Morgan will be given the chance to showcase his prodigious talents from an unfamiliar position tonight when he starts for the Ospreys against Zebre at full-back.

The jet-heeled 20-year-old is a fly-half by trade but, with Dan Biggar in possession of the No. 10 jersey, the Ospreys have decided to make room for him in the back three.

Morgan has the pace and powerful kicking game to excel at full-back with ball in hand, though it may be somewhat risky to have a player barely 5ft 8in tall as the last line of defence.

Regardless of where he plays, though, the Wales Under-20s star will simply be happy to be on the field having started only four RaboDirect Pro12 matches so far this season.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Matthew at 15," said Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy.

"He'll give us attacking options, we know what he can do with ball in hand.

"We've got to look at different options because we have a relatively small squad and having him and Dan on the pitch together is something to look forward to."

Biggar's imperious form at fly-half has made it difficult for the Ospreys to give Morgan much game-time this term.

But the reigning Pro12 champions are keen to cultivate this sparkling young prospect, and tonight's match may give him the freedom to cut loose.

Zebre have yet to win this season, and the Italian newcomers are currently nine points adrift at the bottom of the table.

A bonus-point victory would appear to be there for the taking for Tandy's side this evening, but the head coach is expecting a rigorous workout from the visitors.

"As with any Italian team they are a tough, physical bunch," he said.

"Going into the game on the back of two Welsh derbies in five days, we need to use the squad as much as we can for this one.

"We know that they will make life difficult for us but we have to focus on our own game, and concentrate on what we need to do to ensure we get the performance levels we expect from the group."

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