Our 15 Under 23 MVP of the Month for November is Jacob Morris from Gloucester Rugby! We spoke to him about the award...
Congratulations Jacob! How does it feel to have won this award that the fans have voted for?
I’m buzzing! It was quite surprising. To be nominated was a bit of a shock and a surprise to begin with, and then you look at the list of names nominated and you’re thinking “well I’m just happy to be nominated!”. But, you know, Gloucester have got some of the best fans, and I thought that with their support, I could have a sniff of winning here, so to pull through and win it, I’m absolutely buzzing. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has voted, I’m one very happy boy at the moment!
How nice is it that there is an award, targeting the younger players aged 23 and under?
In years gone by, it’s never been heard of. All the awards have been going to the big names, and the big stars quite consistently, so for there to be an award for us young players coming through is massive, and it’s massive for our confidence as well. I saw Max won it last month, and it just started to play in the back of my head. It’s massive for us young lads, as it helps with our confidence, and it gives us a little bit of drive when it comes to our playing opportunities.
You played in the Premiership Rugby Cup, scoring a few times, how were those games for you?
Playing for a club like Gloucester, it was incredible. Having the Shed sold out is amazing. I think it was my try against Exeter, I went in in the corner by the Shed, and the noise kicked off. It was unbelievable. There is no other feeling like it. It’s boyhood dream stuff, being a lad who watched games in the Shed, to playing there, it’s brilliant. That feeling with never leave you.
Your Dad used to play for Gloucester, Simon Morris, what’s it been like with him?
He played 104 times for Gloucester in the end, that’s the number I’m chasing for! Any time I go to the pub with him and see his mates, they always talk about how I compare to him, so again, that’s another bit of motivation for me, to try and hunt that number down, and do one better than him. We do have a bit of a giggle about that!
What’s it like running out for your club, being a boyhood fan, running out in front of crowds again at Kingsholm?
I think I was involved in a Premiership game last season when there were no fans, and you just don’t realise how important they are. They really are our 16th man; every club will talk about their fan base being the 16th man, but it really is the case at Gloucester. They were electric and immense in the win against Bristol on Friday night.
It makes every player feel that one inch bigger, or that one inch wider, it gives them that little extra boost to get them through the game. It’s great to have them back and I think it’s shown it our results compared to where we were in COVID, to where we are now, there’s been a massive change, and I think that’s partly down to our fanbase. I think we’re extremely lucky to have a city who love rugby and their club so much, I think there’s no better place to play rugby in the country.
What’s it like learning off the likes of Jonny May, Ollie Thorley and even Louis Rees-Zammit despite his similar age to yourself?
For me in my position, I’m surrounded my international players, so Jonny May, Ollie Thorley, Louis Rees-Zammit, Santiago Carreras, and Charlie Sharples. These are massive names in rugby, and for me, it’s about learning as much as I can. You mention Louis, even though he’s young, he’s been on a Lions tour and got a story or two to tell, so it’s little things like that which go a long way. I was speaking to someone to the other day, and they’ve each got their own individual x-factor about them, so it’s all about learning off them, and adding them strings to your bow.
What are your aims for the rest of the season?
I think it’s just to take the opportunities I’m given where I can and see where they lead to. I’m quite weird, I don’t usually like to do goals or aims as it’s an added pressure on you. For me, I need to go out, and train hard every day. Those opportunities will come when you least expect them, so I need to be ready, and take them when they arise.
Photo Credit: Gloucester Rugby