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MEET THE TEAM: Morgan Knowles

11th July 2017, 13:20

MEET THE TEAM: Morgan Knowles

In the latest "MEET THE TEAM" feature, we take a look at St Helens' Morgan Knowles, another player who will be aiming to book their spot at the World Cup.

If you want to make it to the top in rugby league as a youngster, it can often take a great deal of commitment and desire, which are skills that Morgan Knowles has shown in abundance. 

Brought up in Barrow-in-Furness, Knowles played for local amateur clubs Ulverston and Barrow Island and was then picked up by Super League giants St Helens. 

Travelling long distances from Cumbria to link up with Saints' scholarship side can't always have been easy, but it has certainly paid off. 

As well as featuring for a number of successful academy teams, Knowles has broken into the first-team picture.

He was handed his first-team debut back in May 2015, when he was named in the line-up for Saints' sixth-round Challenge Cup tie with York City Knights.

Later that year, Knowles was called up to the Wales squad through heritage and he made his debut against Scotland in the European Championship. 

Given heritage number 503, he played his part in a crucial 18-12 victory that went a long way towards Wales winning the tournament. 

Knowles with two friends after his Wales debut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast forward nine months from his Saints debut and Knowles was featuring in the World Club Series, as Saints lost 12-38 to NRL outfit Sydney Roosters at the Totally Wicked Stadium. 

Two months after his Super League debut in round two of 2016, he was given his second appearance in the league and scored a crucial try for Saints in a narrow 25-22 victory at Warrington Wolves.

Knowles celebrates his try against Warrington in April 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there, the 20-year-old became a familiar face in the first-team and went on to make 24 Super League appearances in 2016. 

In the August, he was rewarded for his performances with a new three-year deal, which will keep him at the club until at least 2019. 

Unfortunately for Knowles, an injury meant that he couldn't feature for Wales in 2016 in the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers.

However, this season, he has picked up where he left off in 2016 and has again featured heavily for Saints. 

As the Super 8s stage of the season approaches, he has already racked up 20 appearances and crossed for two tries. 

There is no doubt that he will continue to be a key part of the Saints side once they enter the business end of the campaign.

Knowles carries the ball forward for Saints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite his young age, Knowles is fast approaching 50 Super League appearances and is now one of Justin Holbrook's first neams on the Saints teamsheet.  

Gaining experience and performing well at the highest level, he will hope to be on the plane to the southern hemisphere this autumn and play an important part in Wales' World Cup campaign.

Morgan and his nephew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY STATS

Name: Morgan Knowles

Position: Hooker/loose forward

Current club: St Helens

Amateur club: Barrow Island

Eligibility: Born in Barrow-in-Furness. Eligible through his mother's side of the family, who are from the Rhondda Valley.

Date of birth: 05/11/96

Wales heritage: #503; Wales caps: 1; Wales debut: 16/10/15

SEE MORGAN'S FULL RECORD FOR WALES HERE

 

YOU CAN FOLLOW MORGAN ON TWITTER: @knowlezy6 

 

Wales' group matches at Rugby League World Cup 2017 are as follows:

DATE

FIXTURE

VENUE

October 28

PAPUA NEW GUINEA V WALES

Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby

November 5

FIJI V WALES

Townsville Stadium 

November 12

WALES V IRELAND

Perth Rectangular Stadium

 

For details on how to sponsor Wales in their World Cup campaign, please email chris.thair@walesrugbyleague.co.uk

 

Article by Ryan Gould

Photos from Ian Lovell, St Helens, archive and Morgan Knowles