Super W: Morgan building foundation for next generation

Super W
by Jill Scanlon

Sport was always set to be a focal point of Cobie-Jane Morgan's life.

Growing up on NSW's Central Coast, with Maori parents, Morgan has been surrounded by sport since she was born. 

“I grew up with sport all around me,” she said.

“Dad was a NSW softballer, mum played a lot of touch up until her late 40s and my brother was a really good rugby player.”

Soccer and touch footy which filled her childhood and it was her passion for soccer that had her dreaming of green and gold.

“I played soccer for about 14 years and I had a dream to be a Matilda,” Morgan said.

“All my younger years I wanted to be a Matilda but when I got older I had to pick whether it was touch footy or soccer.”

Cobie-Jane Morgan has been waiting for an opportunity like the Super W. Photo: WalmsleyMorgan says that touch won out in the end because she just had more fun playing it – both on and off the field - with lifelong friendships created and less ‘politics’, although she still loves watching soccer.

Choosing touch ultimately opened up her rugby pathway, picking up Sevens in her late teens.

A qualified teacher, Morgan was in the classroom for only one year before the Aussie Sevens offered a stint as a full-time athlete, but that ended after two years and in 2015 she was looking for a new challenge.

“When I finished up with Sevens I felt I was still young enough to make a career change and I’d always have my teaching degree, so I just thought why not. Now I’m (becoming) a fully licenced plumber and I love it.

“I just enjoyed being on a worksite and I wanted to experience something new and challenging, I wanted to learn something else, somehow it ended up being plumbing – and I haven’t looked back.”

Since moving to Rugby, Morgan has represented Australia at World Cups in 2010 and 2014, and though she missed the trip to Ireland last year, the 28-year-old doesn't feel she's quite finished with the Wallaroos.

As an experienced member of the Women’s rugby family, Morgan believes the emergence of the Super W competition is a recognition of all the hours, effort and sacrifice put in by herself and her senior team mates who have been working hard over many years.

“There’s a group of us now in our NSW squad that have worked hard over the past 8-10 years and to get it in a format that’s not just over one week gives credit to all the hard work we’ve put in over those years,” Morgan said.

The major feature of this new pathway and competition is the support being given both in the marketplace and in the workplace.

Morgan acknowledges the great support on and off the field, from the Waratahs and Buildcorp and Josephine Sukkar in particular, whose long-time support of women’s rugby is well known.

“Buildcorp from the word go has been awesome. Josephine has been fantastic since she’s been on board with the Wallaroos and now doing all the SuperW,” she said.

“From being at clubland to then being treated at a professional level at the Waratahs, I think it’s had a huge impact not just as rugby players, but personally in their lives.

"They’ve adjusted to how they carry themselves off the field as well. So big wraps to the Waratahs for being really supportive.

Morgan is also very conscious of the responsibility she feels to the next generation of players particularly in the regional areas.

Hailing from Terrigal on the Central Coast she had been a long-standing ambassador for the annual Central Coast Sevens tournament since 2010, supporting the development and growth of rugby in the region.

“I’m based in Sydney, down at the Warringah Rats. They are a huge community-based rugby club so I’ve taken what I have learnt from the Rats back to the Central Coast Academy for Sevens for all the junior girls coming through.”

While training and working takes up most of her time, Cobie-Jane doesn’t sit back. She believes strongly in supporting the development of future talent, especially now the Women’s XVs is laying down a major development pathway.

“If you want girls to keep following their dreams and you want to produce solid rugby players once we’re finished, that’s where you have to go and put in your time and your effort - you’ve got to give back,” Morgan said.

“I know when I first started I was originally a touch player and I didn’t know too many girls until I got to Sydney and I just tried to follow in the footsteps of players that are now retired and they were great players.

“So if I can give back anything and any of my time to the young girls coming through who can aspire to do what we’re doing, then you really feel like you’re doing your job off the field as well.”

NSW hosts the Super W final on Friday, kicking off at 4:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.