Rugby Union: Morgan joins league club

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The Independent Online
GARRICK MORGAN, one of the outstanding young forwards in world rugby, yesterday accepted an offer he could not refuse when he switched to rugby league and so abandoned Australia's campaign to retain the World Cup in South Africa next year.

It is a measure of the quality of the Wallabies' other forwards that they could be so phlegmatic about the loss of the 6ft 6in lock to South Queensland Crushers, one of four new teams who will join the Winfield Cup next year. Morgan, 24, had won 16 caps.

In Sydney yesterday Bob Dwyer, Australia's coach, could not be bothered to comment. Nick Farr-Jones, the World Cup captain of 1991, said: 'While Bob will be disappointed, I'm sure he won't be losing sleep over Garrick's decision.'

Thus has ended the Australian Rugby Union's largely successful efforts to keep its leading players. Frantic efforts had been made to fix up a package for Morgan that would have done the same for him as was done for Tim Horan, Jason Little and Willie Ofahengaue after the last World Cup.

The Crushers offered Morgan a six-figure sum in Australian dollars but more than that they promised to honour the full three-year contract even if the player injured himself in his first training session and never played a game. Now the Wallabies will have to rely on the likes of Rod McCall and John Eales - which does not sound too great a hardship.

Glyn Llewellyn has head- butted his way out of Neath's match against South Africa on 2 November. Llewellyn, himself the winner of nine caps in the second row, has been suspended for 12 weeks after his dismissal against Treorchy on 27 August.

Under the Welsh Rugby Union's totting-up procedure, Llewellyn's punishment is double the six weeks he received for a stamping sending- off 18 months ago. Two other international forwards are luckier. Anthony Copsey's six- week ban for stamping against Treorchy and Brian Williams's four weeks for punching against Cardiff will leave them free to face the Springboks for Llanelli and Neath respectively.