Ospreys sign up Grand Slam winner

Former Swansea and Wales fullback Kevin Morgan has been handed the opportunity to carve out a post-playing career as a Conditioning Coach after joining the Ospreys elite player development set-up.

Morgan, who has this season been combining playing and the role of Conditioning Coach for Neath in the Premiership, will continue with those roles while spending time assisting Ospreys Academy Conditioning Coach Keith Hollifield, working with the leading teenage players in the region as they look to establish themselves at the Ospreys.

32-year-old Morgan enjoyed a successful playing career, the highlight of which saw him score three tries during the Welsh Grand Slam success in 2005. Capped 48 times, he spent five years as an All-White, and also played for Pontypridd and Celtic Warriors.

The bulk of his time with the Ospreys will see him working closely with the ‘C’ group of players at the region, the 16-19 year olds who spend two hours at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport each weekday morning prior to attending college for the day.

A key part of his role though will see him spending twice weekly sessions with an elite group of under-16 players who are being prepared for potential entry to the ‘C’ group for next season.

Speaking about his role with the Ospreys, Morgan said that he is enjoying the experience and helping prepare the next generation of Ospreys. He commented:

“I’m extremely grateful to the Ospreys for giving me this opportunity to get some valuable experience of the conditioning side of things at the region, hopefully this will allow me to develop and grow as a coach.

“I’ve been involved for a little while now and I’m really enjoying being able to assist Keith Hollifield and helping to prepare these young players for a future in rugby by passing over some of the knowledge I have.

” I’ve been a professional rugby player for 12 or 13 years so I understand the ups and downs of rugby, and I can understand when players will come to me saying that they are struggling in certain areas, because that will happen, trust me. As well as managing their conditioning work, it’s about managing the person.

“Most of my time is spent with the boys in the Academy, I’m with them most of the week for their fitness sessions and weights sessions, helping out.

“What I’m really enjoying is the work that I’m doing with the group of under-16’s. We train twice a week, on Monday and Thursday and there’s a group of sixteen boys that I’m teaching how to weight-lift properly. I’m taking them through all the Olympic lifts, how to perform them properly, in preparation for when some of them will step up into the Ospreys Academy next year.

“Basically, we’re investing some time with them now, so that when they come into the set-up next year they’ll be a step ahead and we won’t have to spend three or four months teaching them how to do a snatch, or a squat, or power cleans, things like that, the basics.

“Their conditioning will be that much better when they step up because of the work we’ve done. Also, they will have things like technique, and the knowledge, already ingrained in them, and when Keith starts working with them he can just concentrate on improving the strength and power in the lifts.”

Having had a career-long interest in conditioning thanks to the efforts of a former school rugby coach, Morgan says that it is over the last few years that he has made a commitment to a long term future as a conditioning coach, thanks in part to the influence of Andrew Hore, now Elite Performance Director at the Ospreys:

“As a teenager, I got involved with a school rugby teacher, Brian Lease, who actually took the time to teach us about how important conditioning would in the modern day game.

“He taught us the reasons for training, it wasn’t just training for trainings sake, it was specific about how different types of training would improve you

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