‘Exciting’ Aidan Morgan is the just the type of player Ulster need says Jonny Bell

The young New Zealander will move to the Belfast-based outfit in the summer

New Zealand-born out-half Aidan Morgan will join Ulster in the summer								PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES
Aidan Morgan (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

ULSTER defence coach Jonny Bell is backing new out-half Aidan Morgan to excel at Kingspan Stadium when he arrives in the summer.

The 22-year-old Ireland-qualified No10, who is currently playing Super Rugby with the Hurricanes and has been capped at U20 level by New Zealand, has penned a two-year deal with Ulster and Bell believes that with budget constraints, looking for young Ireland-qualified players is the way forward for the northern province.

“He’s exciting, I’ve spoken to a few people out in New Zealand and they’re pretty disappointed to lose him,” said Bell.

“He’s just going to get better and better, obviously it’ll be a change of environment and culture and style of rugby here, but he’s exciting.

“He wants to play fast-paced rugby, so I think the ground and the way Richie (Murphy) wants to play the game is going to suit him.

“It’s going to take time for him to bed in but it’s exciting. He’s a young, competitive, enthusiastic player, he’s driven to do well, and he’s taken the step, I can only see the positives for him and for us.

“There’s no secret that it’s about bringing young players through. Richie has a history of working with young players and Aidan is young, Ireland-qualified, exciting.

‘’He’s the type of 10 that wants to attack with the ball and is a competitor, that is the model going forward and it’s exciting for Aidan coming here. His grandfather is a Belfast man so he has some heritage here.

“For all the other young players around here, it’s exciting to build on some young players to bolster the older players we have.

“It’s the way Richie wants to play the game as well, making sure everyone knows this is a competitive environment where everyone will get their opportunity if they train well and play well.”

Bell has no qualms about Ulster’s out-halves lacking experience. As well as Morgan, they have Jake Flannery and Nathan Doak, while Ireland U20 duo Jack Murphy and Sam Berman are also expected to arrive at Kingspan Stadium.

“That’s the route we’ve decided to go down and I think it’s exciting.

“Aidan’s had some Super Rugby experience, we’ve got Doaky playing here as well, Jake Flannery as well.

“Yes, they’re young, but they have experience and some exposure this year, with good coaching and good players around, these guys will develop on the pitch.

“You could go out and try to recruit a 35-year-old or 30-year-old but that’s not the route we want to go down.

“Aidan will enhance our stock and make us more competitive and drive the competitive nature within the squad already.

“That’s an exciting thing for us, having spoken to some people down in New Zealand, they’re disappointed to see him go as he’s an exciting prospect.

“He’s not going to be the finished article, it’s going to take time for him to settle but he’s a competitor, he’s attacking and that’s how we want to do things.”

Ulster travel to Munster for their last regular season league game having already qualified for the URC play-offs but may need something from Limerick to guarantee Champions Cup rugby next season.

“We’ll know what we need to do so that is an advantage for the boys, I think they’ll be fully focused on going to war against Munster, the other permutations won’t be as important.

“For the coaching staff, knowing what points we need will probably help.

“There’s a huge heritage here in Ulster in the Champions Cup, we want to be there.

“There’s a lot of young players we want to be able to get in and experience that, going down to Munster to try and get what we want out of it, that’s what it’s all about.”