Busy time for sidelined Gloucester star Morgan
GLOUCESTER's Olly Morgan may have spent the last 15 months kicking his heels on the sidelines but the full-back insists that none of that time has been wasted.
The England international's career has almost come to a grinding halt in the last year after a serious knee injury sustained against Worcester Warriors in January of 2012.
An infection since then has delayed his rehabilitation and the 27-year-old recently returned from a trip to the USA to see knee specialist Bill Knowles, the man who masterminded the returns of the likes of Tiger Woods and Jonny Wilkinson.
And although the full-back, who was speaking at the launch of this summer's J.P Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s series, admits there is no chance of him returning this season, Morgan insists he has not lain idle in his time away from the game.
"Nigel Davies has been great, he's integrated a lot of players that have been injured for a while," he said.
"For instance I've been doing a lot of back threes work and doing some analysis on teams that we play, weeks in advance and presented it to the squad, so that's been great because you feel part of it.
"Generally from my point of view I didn't want to look back from the time I've had off and think I've done nothing to gain in rugby or gain outside of rugby, so I've done a lot of coaching badges and a lot of strengthen and condition and nutrition, things that I've got interested in that hopefully I can take forward outside of rugby and after."
The draw for the JP Morgan 7s has paired Gloucester with West Country rivals Bath, Exeter Chiefs and Worcester Warriors in Pool A with matches to take place on Thursday August 1.
The Cherry and Whites made the final last year and while Morgan's ongoing recovery plans make his involvement unlikely, the full-back is adamant that whatever side takes the field will be a real contender for the title.
"In the past it's been more about blooding the young players and I think that the more the years it goes on the more the directors of rugby want to think 'right I want to go on and win it'," he added.
"I know Nigel Davies has said he doesn't want to enter the tournament without having the mentality of winning, whether that's putting in the young players or putting in the senior players, how we do it is irrelevant really, we just have to go out and perform and win.
"We got to the final last year and were unfortunate to go out, but we want to try replicate that and go one better this year.
"We've still got the likes of Johnny May and Charlie (Sharples) and Freddie (Burns), and all those that have stayed and made a name for themselves, but we've still got some young guys in the academy who haven't quite had the exposure and this tournament will be great for them.
"I'm not sure whether you'll being seeing my old name out there, but hopefully we'll be successful and you'll see a few of the young talent that Gloucester has to show."
The J.P Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s kicks off on 1st August at Kingsholm with rounds at Franklin's Gardens and Allianz Park and the Final at The Recreation Ground. For tickets and more information visit: wwwjpmorgan7s.com or follow @jpmorganrugby7s