Morris returns to home away from home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Morris returns to home away from home

By Ben Horne 10/07/2010 02:50:59 PM Comments (0)

It's eight years, three clubs and at least four positions later, but coming back to play an NRL match in Newcastle is still special for Cronulla hooker John Morris.

The Scone junior grew up dreaming of one day playing for the Knights, and while he's happily moved on to enjoy a variety of experiences for different teams, most of his fan-base wish he was still a Novocastrian.

However, coming home to the Hunter doesn't necessarily mean being welcomed home with open arms.

"My wife Michelle's from Newcastle so her family are actually Newcastle Knights season ticket holders and members," Morris told AAP.

"My wife is definitely a Shark but I don't know about the father in law (Peter) though, trying to convince him is a bit hard.

"It's a funny occasion because they're over there and you can see all the red and blue colours with their Knights jackets on.

"If the Knights win their team gets home anyway!"

It all began for Morris at the Knights in 2001 but since then he's been with Parramatta, Wests Tigers and now the Sharks.

Through that time, Morris has proven himself to be one of the game's most resilient utility players.

A long-term injury to Adam MacDougall in 2002 meant the majority of Morris' time in Newcastle was spent on the wing.

He handled the position so well, you could be forgiven for thinking it was his natural spot - but not many hookers' could have mastered it for what turned out to be most of a season.

Since then he's filled in for and played alongside the likes of Andrew Johns and Benji Marshall in the halves, and never looked out of place playing anywhere from centre to backrow.

Finally he's back to his best position at hooker, and although he'd love more game time, he's doing a good job out of dummy-half at the Sharks in tandem with Paul Aiton.

"I think we provide a bit of spark around the ruck that the Sharks have needed," he said.

"We've just got to do it more consistently as a team and make sure we keep improving our attack to match it against the bigger teams.

"I was sort of on the wing at Newcastle by default because we had no other options.

"We were winning so Michael Hagan just kept me out there. I had a fair bit of success because I was playing outside of Matt Gidley at the time and with blokes like Andrew Johns in your side, you don't have much to do.

"You always hope to stay at one club, but I've had to move on for various reasons but I probably wouldn't change it.

"I've had the opportunity to play with some wonderful players, experience different cultures and be coached by some of the best coaches in the game.

"It's made me a more complete player."

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