Young, fast and ready for a challenge. Former Leeds Rhinos reserve, Kai Morgan “can’t wait to get started“ after signing with Salford Red Devils at just 19 years old.
The move means a huge step up from his recent rugby appearances, and Kai believes this decision set him on the right path towards his Super League debut.
Kai said: “I’ve been playing in Yorkshire for the past four years and moving over the Pennines is something new for me. I’ll probably be one of the youngest so I think it’s a good move for me at this stage. I just can’t wait to get started.”
Although the intensity of playing in the first team will be a new atmosphere for Kai, being so young he knows he can push himself harder than ever.
“I think it’s the time I’ve got to push myself and get to that level of playing senior rugby consistently and it’ll be a good feeling when I make my debut,” Kai said.
The winds changed for Kai after he impressed Devils’ manager Paul Rowley during a reserve game between Salford and Leeds. Kai said Paul Rowley’s encouraging words after the game began turning his head towards the Devils.
Kai said: “After the game he came up to me and we had a pretty nice chat. He said I’d had a good game and he asked me what I was thinking about doing next year. It was one of them where I was quite interested straight after that.”
Kai worked his way up through the youth ranks of Leeds Rhinos onto their reserve team as halfback and made his academy debut against Wakefield Trinity in 2018. He was thriving with the Rhinos, but felt the Devils were the perfect he group of lads to help nurture his blooming career.
“I think they’re one of the best attacking teams in the league so think my game and what I need to get better at definitely suits me coming here and I can’t wait to learn what they do, how they play and hopefully add stuff to my game,” Kai added.
Kai doesn’t quite bring the muscle, but he uses his smaller build to his advantage and can be nippy on the pitch. One of his strongest skills he can bring to the team is his determination… “I hate losing, so I’ll be competitive and aggressive.”
His ambition and drive to move through the rugby league ranks at such a young age is refreshing and his Super League debut is in his sights for the 2024 season. After undergoing surgery last year after an injury put him out of action, Kai is itching to get back on the field and show Salford why he belongs on their team.
Playing across the Pennines with the Devils shows Kai is not afraid to jump in at the deep end with players who are older, bigger and stronger. Hopefully it won’t all be training, as Kai is looking forward to getting to know Salford and Manchester a bit more, “I’ve not seen much of it in my time so I’m excited.”
When talking about the team, Kai said: “I’ve heard they’re a bunch of great lads, so I think I’ll get welcomed pretty well. I’ve been there a few times and it feels like I’ve been there for years and I’m excited to get to know the rest of them. And obviously on field relationships as well. I can’t wait to start training.”
Kai is in his prime for the 2024 season and he’s ready to take on training, he’s admitted there’s always areas of his game he can be working on.
“My kicking’s a big one I need to work on. I won’t say I’ve struggled with it, but I won’t say I’ve been top notch with it the last few years. There’s a few lads there who the best part of their game is kicking, so that’ll help me a lot.”
Kai is ready to prove himself to his new team and for the fans of Salford Red Devil’s and he’s willing to put his all into making this season Salford’s best.
He added: “I’ve got a lot of hunger, being young and on a one year deal I’ve got a lot to prove and I won’t let any of them down. Like I said, I hate losing so I’ll do everything I can to win. I think it’ll be a good year for Salford this year.”
Featured image credit: Harry Siddall