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By ARU Media Unit
After his wonder try against the British & Irish Lions in Brisbane last Saturday night, Queensland Reds and Australian Sevens star Luke Morahan wasn’t letting his moment of brilliance go to his head.
“I got a good opportunity with the ball early on and I’m very grateful for that” he recalled after the match. “I did pretty well with it.”
Pretty humble from the guy who had just scored what many were calling one of the greatest ever solo tries scored on a Lions tour.
“It all happened pretty quickly to be honest. I saw a defender rushing up at me so I just tried to beat him and then I beat the next guy and kept running. And that was the way it all panned out. I’d been practicing the chip and chase during the warm up so glad I got a chance to try it out in the match.”
So were the over 50,000 ecstatic fans in the stadium.
No doubt one man thrilled by the try, but not surprised by Morahan’s genius, was Australian Sevens coach Michael O’Connor.
O’Connor was delighted to have the Reds speedster as part of his Qantas Men’s Sevens squad who went in to camp earlier this week to prepare for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow from June 28th to 30th.
But no sooner had O’Connor secured the services of the lightning fast wing than the Wallabies came calling.
Wallabies squad member, Brumbies winger Joe Tomane was ruled out of the first Test of the DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour on June 22nd in Brisbane with a fracture in the small toe of his left foot.
It was no surprise after his wonder-try that the man Wallabies coach Robbie Deans called up was Morahan. For his part Morahan was delighted to get the Wallabies call up but remained excited about the possibility of playing in Moscow.
The affable 23-year-old is clearly suffering from a “too-much-of-a-good-thing” syndrome.
“Every time you go out and play all year it’s been in the back of your mind that the Wallaby staff is looking at you”, he explained. “So you’re always thinking about playing for the Wallabies.”
But if you had a choice between the Wallabies and the Sevens Rugby World Cup, what would you choose?
“You’d always have to say that the Wallabies are first choice and it is my first choice”, he answered, without hesitation.
“And when Robbie gave me the call I was delighted. But I am still very committed to the Sevens squad and if I do get a chance to be part of the squad again I’ll be down there and get stuck in.”
Morahan, who will join the Western Force in 2014, has just one Test to his name to date, the shock loss to Newcastle last June. If he does get a chance to play Test No.2 he will be desperate to reverse the result.
Almost a week after the stunning match at Suncorp Stadium, Morahan (like the rest of the players no doubt) was still reeling at the sheer speed of the game.
“I looked up at the clock in the first half and it was only 16 minutes” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought we’d been playing for three quarters of the game. (The incredible pace) was difficult but I really enjoyed it.”
“I think both teams were blowing pretty hard after 20 minutes.”
But what was his own personal highlight – his sensational try or the two try-saving tackles?
“You’d have to say the try saving tackles” he said with a smile, “it counts for a lot more doesn’t it. But I was pretty happy with all three.”
“My defence is something I’ve been working on for a couple of years now. Once it was a negative in my game so hopefully I’ve answered a few questions about that now.”
No arguments with that.
Morahan’s try scoring magic, and his super-hero defence, will both be music to Robbie Deans and Michael O’Connor’s ears.
And which ever team Morahan represents on the weekend of June 28-30, whether it be the Wallabies or the Men’s Sevens, they will be delighted to have his services.
Over 500 young men and women had the opportunity to show off their skills and athleticism yesterday, as the Australian Rugby Union’s Search for a Star took place across the country looking to identify players who may have the potential to represent their country in Rugby Sevens.