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Gloucester Rugby: Ross Moriarty benefiting from learning from the best

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

IN THE GENES:   Ross Moriarty is following in the footsteps of Dad, Gloucester coach Paul

IN THE GENES: Ross Moriarty is following in the footsteps of Dad, Gloucester coach Paul

Comments (22)

FAMILY values have helped ease Ross Moriarty's back-row transition – and now he is ready to hone his blindside flanker skills.

The Gloucester Academy back-rower is all set for his England Under-20s debut in tonight's Six Nations opener against Scotland in Plymouth (kick-off 5.45pm).

The 18-year-old swapped full-back for the back-row a year ago after a growth spurt – and one telling tackle in action for Hartpury College.

With a dual-code international loose-forward and defence coach as a dad, Moriarty Junior admits back-row was probably always in his genes.

But he conceded that growing up his Gloucester defence expert father Paul always coached him as a flanker – whatever his shirt number.

Preparing for tonight's Six Nations clash at Plymouth Albion's Brickfields Stadium, Moriarty said: "I think my dad has always coached me as a back-row player – just playing out of position.

"It makes sense in one way, and in another it was probably easier for him to pass on his specific knowledge there.

"Somehow I've just gravitated towards the back-row really.

"Being a loose-forward is definitely the best position for me, I can get involved with a bit of everything – the tight work and then link with the backs too.

"I feel as though I'm picking it up naturally as I move along, luckily for me it's come together quite quickly."

Moriarty has relished his first taste of first-team action at Gloucester this term, under new boss Nigel Davies.

And now he is hoping to take advantage of that with his England age group and capitalise on the specialist coaching at his disposal.

He said: "There are good chances to speak to coaches by themselves here, so you can do a lot of individual work, and that's a great way to help your development.

"It's not too long that I've been playing in the back-row, so I watch a lot of video clips of senior international players, watch what they do and see what I can learn from them.

"I'm quite happy playing six at the moment, the teams I'm playing for are happy with that too, so that's fine.

"I played pretty much everywhere in the backs up until I was 16, or 17.

"Then I switched to the back-row when I was in the second team, and I've just kicked on from there.

"I just enjoy doing a lot more, I'm involved a lot more, I got a bit bigger and more physical and so it's suited me.

"I'm very pleased with my progress, and to have five first-team games at 18, that's great.

"I would not have expected that a year ago.

"So I've just got to keep working hard and keep on improving.

"I've spoken a lot with our Academy manager Andrew Stanley about what he wants from me in the future.

"And that depends on what happens in the next couple of months.

"Hopefully all of that will go well, and I'll get a bit more chance in the first team."

ENGLAND UNDER-20S: A Watson (London Irish), J Arnott (Exeter), H Sloan (Harlequins), S Hill (Exeter), B Howard (Worcester), H Slade (Exeter), A Day (Northampton), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), M Crumpton (Saracens), K Sinckler (Harlequins), E Stooke (Gloucester), D Barrow (Leeds), R Moriarty (Gloucester), J Conlon (Exeter), J Clifford (capt, Harlequins). Replacements: D Herriott (Northampton), D Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton), S Wilson (Newcastle), T Jubb (Saracens), G Jones (Wasps), N Fowles (Sale), W Hooley (Northampton), M Jennings (Sale).

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22 comments

  • richardpenton  |  February 02 2013, 9:35AM

    Our Director of rugby and professional coach, Nigel Davies, knows who his top tight-head is. He gets paid lots of money to know these things. No one is going to pay the Gloucester Rugby hating multi-troll akadau/Kap721/autotroll/peh45/glawsteruk1/etc. a penny for what he knows about the game. The facts remain.... Rupert Harden is the official first choice at tight head and that is because he is the most accomplished and skilful in that position.

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  • H_Sparks  |  February 02 2013, 9:28AM

    The Gloucester Rugby hating troll akadau, aka glawsteruk1, aka Kap721 and so on, really doesn't like the fact that Harden is Gloucester's number one tight-head and the one ND starts in all the big games when he is fit an available.

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  • TuffleyRaider  |  February 02 2013, 9:23AM

    Get Harden on a long term contract now. He is a shoe-in for the tight-head position. His performances this season have been top notch. Sheer class!

    Rate   6
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  • starturn  |  February 02 2013, 9:19AM

    Rupert Harden when fit.... The first name on the team sheet.

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  • walker1105  |  February 02 2013, 9:18AM

    I am looking forward to Rupert Harden (Gloucester Rugby's first choice tight-head) returning to the fray. It will be good to have our scrum restored to full power with Rupert in his natural place, starting for Gloucester Rugby.

    Rate   5
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  • RoryGlaws  |  February 02 2013, 9:15AM

    Rupert Harden is a fabulous player and deserves all the credit for his 9 out of 13 Premiership starts this season, making him ND's first choice player in the tight head position.

    Rate   6
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  • Hinchcliffe33  |  February 02 2013, 9:12AM

    Saints is going to be a tough game, that is why Harden is needed to start. I don't want to see another Saracens game where we lose the last scrum because the front row is stood up.

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  • Don_Deakin  |  February 02 2013, 9:11AM

    The reason that Harden is the number one tight head at Gloucester Rugby is because Nigel Davies, who selects the team, knows that Harden is his best man for the tight head position.

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  • werew  |  February 02 2013, 9:10AM

    Nigel Davies is no mug. He knows who his best men are in each position. When it comes to tight head he consistently selects Harden to start in the key games. That says it all really.

    Rate   5
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  • GlawsSurfer  |  February 02 2013, 9:07AM

    I'm looking forward to our best tighthead, Rupert Harden, dominating in the scrum as usual this weekend. You just know that the multi-troll akadau won't be there because he doesn't even know where Kingsholm is.

    Rate   6
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