Garrick Jay Morgan
- 702Wallaby Number
Garrick Morgan was an intimidating man mountain who proved to be the perfect foil to the great John Eales when they locked the Wallaby scrum during the mid-1990s. Son of John ‘Pogo’ Morgan who played rugby league for Manly and Australia in the 1960’s, Garrick stood an imposing 198cms tall and weighed 121kgs. He was born in Sydney and raised at Mission Beach in tropical north Queensland before he was sent to board at the Marist Brothers College in Brisbane.
When his dad bought a hotel in Toowoomba the family moved Garrick, then in Year 11, to board at Downlands College from where he went on to represent Australian Schools.
In 1990, Morgan made his debut for Queensland against Western Samoa in Apia however he had to wait two seasons before he genuinely pressed for national selection. In 1992 he was chosen to play for the Emerging Wallabies against Scotland, found himself in the Wallaby squad for the Bledisloe Cup and made his debut in the first Test in Sydney.
Morgan appeared destined for a long and decorated international career after he so dominated the 1993 season that he was named International Player of the Year by the prestigious French rugby magazine, Midi Olympique. However, Morgan then made a decision to switch codes and play rugby league for the South Queensland Crushers.As a consequence he effectively tossed away a place in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
He was back at the Reds in 1996 and resumed his Wallaby career as if he had never been away. Unfortunately injury disrupted his return. Firstly a broken ankle from which he never truly recovered and then a shoulder injury limited his appearances. When he was not chosen for the 1999 Rugby World Cup squad Morgan left Australia, for England, to play with Harlequins.
Garrick Morgan played 24 Tests for Australia in his six-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools against England Schools and New Zealand Schools.
Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
Morgan won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Sam Scott-Young at No.8 and switched with Troy Coker to blindside flanker in the 1st Test, 16-15 victory over New Zealand in Sydney. He made his first run-on XV debut at lock in the 23-6 win against Wales in Cardiff. Morgan won a total of three caps for the year.
Morgan started all eight Tests of the year, seven at lock and one at No.6. He scored his first Test try in the 52-14 defeat of Tonga at Ballymore.
Morgan was selected at No.4 in five of the six Wallabies’ Tests. He missed the 2nd Test against Italy in Melbourne when Rod McCall partnered John Eales in the second row.
Morgan started the opening six Tests at lock. He did not play in the final Tri Nations international against South Africa in Bloemfontein but was selected for the northern hemisphere tour. Unfortunately Morgan broke his ankle at the kick-off in the tour opener against Italy ‘A’ in Sicily. After being sent home, he underwent an operation on the ankle but a life threatening, postoperative embolism sent him back to hospital for another three weeks.
He won his final two Test caps in the 25-6 defeat of England in Sydney and the 18-33, 1st Test loss to New Zealand at the M.C.G.