BEN MORGAN is ready to challenge for his England shirt after hitting the ground running at Gloucester.

The former Dursley youth player burst onto the international scene earlier this year with some superb performances in the Six Nations, but faces competition for the No 8 spot after Thomas Waldrom shone on the tour of South Africa and took his place for the last Test of the series.

Morgan moved to Kingsholm from Welsh giants Scarlets in the summer to boost his chances of playing for England, and he has played the full 80 minutes of all three Premiership games so far, scoring his first try for the club in their victory over London Irish.

“I’ve settled in well at Gloucester,” said Morgan.

“I grew up watching the team and the support from the fans in The Shed has been fantastic.

“It’s been a great help having (director of rugby) Nigel Davies at Gloucester. Obviously he was our coach at The Scarlets and he knows the way I play.

“It made sense to move to an English team to play. I hope to be in the mix for England again and playing in the Premiership gives me the chance to be challenging for my place amongst all the other No 8s.

“It wasn’t really a hard decision last year to choose between England and Wales. I loved playing with the Scarlets, but I am English.”

Morgan is also a talented snooker player and visited the South West Snooker Academy in Quedgeley last week, where he was being filmed by ESPN for their pre-match coverage of the clash between Gloucester and Worcester.

The former Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School pupil, who used to play in the Terry Griffiths Matchroom in Llanelli, also took time out to meet up with Team GB Paralympian Jonathan Adams at the Academy.

“I played a few times with Matthew Stevens, down at the Matchroom. I even managed to get 40 points on the board against him once,” laughs Morgan.

“Terry Griffiths told me about the Academy but I never dreamed it would be like this.

“It’s an amazing set up here. I’m looking forward to coming back regularly with a few of my team-mates.”