Rugby Union: Morgan fulfils his American dream

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Kevin Morgan, the 20-year-old Pontypridd full-back, has completed his rapid rise to the top by becoming the only new cap in the Wales side to meet the United States in the first Test in Wilmington tonight.

"I came on the tour hoping for a couple of games," Morgan said. "When the coach Kevin Bowring told me I was playing I phoned home straight away. It is an incredible feeling to be playing alongside so many established world-class players."

At the other end of the age scale, Nigel Walker is back in favour on the left wing after being overlooked for the Five Nations' Championship.

Garin Jenkins will play at hooker in the absence of the injured former Wales captain Jonathan Humphries, with Andrew Gibbs packing down at blindside flanker alongside the new captain Gwyn Jones.

The Richmond lock, Steve Atherton, is returning home to South Africa. He and his family have been unable to settle since coming over in January and there have been problems with his salary.

"Steve's contractual demands were not in line with the existing structure for other players," John Kingston, the club's director of rugby, said. "Richmond's success has been built on close, happy sides and as much as I respect his playing ability, no individual is bigger than the team."

WALES (v United States, First Test, Wilmington, North Carolina, midnight tonight BST): K Morgan (Pontypridd); W Proctor (Llanelli), L Davies (Cardiff), G Thomas (Bridgend), N Walker (Cardiff); A Thomas (Swansea), P John (Pontypridd); C Loader (Swansea), G Jenkins (Swansea), L Mustoe (Cardiff), G Llewellyn (Harlequins), M Voyle (Llanelli), A Gibbs (Llanelli), G Jones (Cardiff, capt), S Williams (Neath). Replacements: D James (Bridgend), L Jarvis (Cardiff), A Moore (Richmond), M Thomas (Bath), C Anthony (Swansea), R McBryde (Llanelli).

Referee: K McCartney (Scotland).

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