England get boost from No8 Morgan

ENGLAND have received a boost ahead of the Six Nations after highly-rated Scarlets No8 Ben Morgan rejected the advances of Wales and pledged his future to his country of birth.

The Bristolian 22-year-old could be included in Stuart Lancaster’s Six Nations squad next week, with the interim head coach considering sweeping away the old guard in favour of fresh blood. Wales boss Warren Gatland had talked up Morgan and hinted he would have handed him a first international call-up for last summer’s match against the Barbarians.

“I feel privileged and honoured that both Wales and England have been following me and it has taken me a while to come to this decision,” he said. “But I’m English, I grew up supporting England and as a youngster I always dreamt of playing for England. Ultimately, if given the opportunity I want to try and take things forward.”

Lancaster’s exclusion of Danny Care may have restricted his backs options, but there was relief yesterday at the news centre Manu Tuilagi could overcome his hamstring injury in time for the Six Nations opener against Scotland on 4 February.

Meanwhile England have underlined a new no-nonsense approach by switching the pre-tournament training camp from Portugal to Leeds.