Morgan Monks says he is drawing inspiration from teammate Ted Hill as he continues his progress towards Worcester’s first team.
Born, raised and schooled in the city, Monks attended the same school as Hill and, like the England man, is a hugely promising back rower.
Monks, 19, said: “I get on well with Ted; he’s a few years ahead, but we both went to Worcester Sixth Form College and to see his picture on the wall, along with his England shirt, proves you can achieve stuff despite not going to a private school.
“Ted’s left a good legacy at that school and I’d love to be the next one to push on and get my picture on that wall as well. He’s such a humble, nice lad as well and it’s been great to see him pushing for that England squad during the Six Nations.
“He’s a solid starter in the Premiership now and is showing what I might be able to achieve over the next couple of years with hard work.”
Having appeared three times in this season’s European Challenge Cup, Monks is highly rated by the Warriors and his impressive frame – he stands 6ft 4ins (1.96m) tall and weighs-in at 18st 4lbs (116kgs) – lends itself to the modern power game.
Monks, who started playing for Worcester RFC aged five, explained: “I was a prop when I was younger, but as you go through school things begin to change and I played a bit at centre before finally settling into playing in the back row.
“I enjoy getting ball in hand and No.8 is where I prefer to be, although this season I’ve played more at six which has been good as well.
“I’ve put on about 10kgs over the last year but I’m still quick and my ball-carrying’s a big part of my game.”
After representing Worcestershire and captaining his county at youth level, Monks was snapped up by Warriors at 14. As well as Hill, his first team mentors include GJ van Velze, Sam Lewis and Marco Mama, while he enjoys looking further afield.
“GJ’s my personal mentor and he’s doing a brilliant job,” says Monks. “I’ve always looked up to people like Sam and Marco as well and the advice those guys give me is massive. They’re always there to go over games and offer their opinions.
“Outside of the club, it’s mainly younger guys I look at, like Zach Mercer with his ball-carrying and energy around the park. It’s always good to watch his clips, and then seeing someone like Ben Earl breaking into the England squad is huge.
“They’re similar ball-carrying, attacking players to me and then, on the defensive side, seeing how Sam Underhill goes about his business is unbelievable.
“Seeing that future England team being put together is very exciting for guys like me.”
A spell at Moseley is also helping. Monks adds: “Adam Balding, their director of rugby, is an ex-back row and he’s a perfect mentor away from Worcester.”
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