This week on the WithYou! Rugby Podcast, President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, checks back in with United States U18s player, Damian Morley. Since receiving the Graham Downes Development and Pathways to Excellence Funds High Performance Grants, Damian has been training and playing at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Damian has now been in Stellenbosch for three months and is nearing the end of his time there. In these life-changing months, he has grown both as a rugby player and as an individual. From conditioning and training, to increased knowledge and understanding of the game, Damian’s experience at Stellenbosch Academy has been invaluable. A graduate from Xavier High School in New York, Damian is ending two incredible journeys on a high note. With exceptional talent and determination, Damian is a promising young rugby player that has a lot to offer the world of rugby, and the world in general. Listen below to hear about Damian’s once-in-a-lifetime experience and the ways in which Stellenbosch Academy has helped him excel in the sport.
0:50: Damian shares what it’s been like for him to live in South Africa.
2:00: What do you think about the South African approach to rugby?
3:30: Damian tells us about some of the things he has learned and improved upon since being in Stellenbosch.
6:10: “The biggest thing I felt I worked on the most was being able to respond to the opposition as the game grows longer.”
7:40: How do you think you have grown as a player?
8:50: Brian asks Damian what the most challenging part of the whole experience has been thus far.
11:40: Damian talks about how as time passes, coaches’ expectations regarding level of performance and accountability increases.
12:40: Brian asks Damian about how the season has been going so far.
14:10: What has your favorite experience been throughout all of these games?
15:35: Damian speaks about the injury he received in his first game and his recovery period.
19:30: What effect has COVID 19 had on your processes?
22:00: Damian talks about some of the sights he’s seen in South Africa, including Table Mountain.
24:10: Brian asks Damian about what it was like to finish highschool (Xavier High School in New York) while following his rugby career in South Africa.
27:25: Is there anything else you miss from home?
30:05: Have you been able to follow the MLR, and if so what are your thoughts?
33:30: Damian shares his gratitude for the U.S. Rugby Foundation and the Graham Downes Development Fund.
In this episode of the WithYou! Rugby Podcast, we checked in with U.S. U18s player Damian Morley, a young and talented up-and-coming rugby player. With help from the United States Rugby Foundation, Damian was able to attend the prestigious Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in South Africa. Damian’s time in Stellenbosch is already coming to an end, but not before he had the chance to grow immensely as a rugby player.