George Morgan had an interesting excuse for missing school yesterday.
The rugby mad 13-year-old spent the afternoon mixing with the All Blacks and his hero Dan Carter, who it seems was as keen to meet with him.
First the back story: Back in April, young Morgan posted a YouTube video of his incredible kicking skills, which quickly ran up more than 100,000 hits.
Carter was amongst those impressed by the breathtaking display tweeting: “Just got sent this. Future AB??? Actually he is Irish so he might be wearing the Green Jersey one day #FutureStar.”
Morgan, who plays for Terenure College, was thrilled with the reaction and took to his aunt’s twitter account to express thanks: “Hi Dan. Thanks for the tweet love2meet u 23rd Nov here in Ireland”.
And with a little help from All Blacks sponsors AIG, the wheels were set in motion for the pair to meet in Dublin yesterday.
“I’m speechless, I’m amazed. I’m overjoyed,” George said last night. “Their PR guy Tim Collins got onto my dad, Ian, about a month and a half ago about it and said that Dan was really looking forward to it.
“It was finalised about two weeks ago, then just happened. It was meant to be a kicking session with Dan but he was injured so instead we had a great chat.
“He came up to me and said ‘Hey George’ and the rest was amazing.
“He gave me a pair of boots, then we talked about the video, his career, lots of things. He was just so nice and friendly, he is a really, really genuine guy.”
Then came the serious stuff when Morgan took to the field with the world champions to show his talents.
“It was like getting changed for training with school friends. They were chatting to me about New Zealand slang and I was talking about playing against Ireland.
“I’m very happy with my kicking performance and got great tips from their kicking coach, Mick Byrne. He was showing me where my chest needs to be and the correct body angle when kicking through. At one stage it was so windy, I had Aaron Smith holding the ball for me when I was taking my kicks!”
As confident and impressive off the field as on it, young Morgan took yesterday in his stride. But like any good kicker, he’s already looking at new targets to reach.
“I don’t want to put myself under too much pressure, I’m only 13. But yes, the dream and the goal would be to line up against the All Blacks for real.”
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