NEWPORT Gwent Dragons centre Tyler Morgan will return to the Wales squad with extra “fire in his belly” after being dropped for the Six Nations, according to captain Jamie Roberts.
The talented 21-year-old from Caerleon has been named in the 32-strong squad for the summer tour that features Tests against Tonga in Auckland and Samoa in Apia.
Morgan is an outsider for a place in the XV given that skipper Roberts is likely to wear 12 on his back and Scott Williams has been selected after missing out on the Lions squad.
However, the dual-contracted Dragons back will be desperate to impress after being cut from the Wales squad for the first time in the Six Nations.
Morgan won the last of his three caps alongside Roberts in the World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa and played in the humbling loss to the Chiefs on the tour of New Zealand last summer.
His captain is motivated by losing his start after a nightmare autumn opener against Australia to Williams, who formed an all-Scarlets partnership with Jonathan Davies, and knows that the Dragon will also be hungry.
“Having played and trained with Tyler through the years he is a quality rugby player,” said 30-year-old Roberts, who has won 91 caps and been on two Lions tours.
“He is a young guy who has missed out but the motivation when you miss out, trust me, there’s nothing quite like it in professional sport.
“You realise as you get older that it’s a finite career and you have to take opportunities, so when you do miss out it motivates you.
“I can vouch for that after the last year and Tyler will have the fire in the belly and needs to show that in training.
“He is a quality player and he has his chance again with the opportunity to go to another level again.”
While Roberts and Williams are in pole position to start the Tests, interim head coach Robin McBryde has Gloucester-bound Leicester fly-half Owen Williams and Cardiff Blues’ Cory Allen, who is moving to the Ospreys next term, as other options.
Wales play a warm-up fixture against RGC 1404 in Colwyn Bay on Friday, June 2 before clashing with Tonga at Eden Park on Friday, June 16 and Samoa a week later.