England v Fiji: Ben Morgan keen to repay faith at Rugby World Cup

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby reporter
Morgan's battle to World Cup fitness
Rugby World Cup Pool A: England v Fiji
Venue: Twickenham, London Date: Friday, 18 September Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, with live text commentary online.

Ben Morgan says he is desperate to repay the faith shown by the England coaches, after being selected for Friday's World Cup opener against Fiji.

The number eight only returned from a broken leg last month but has been picked ahead of Billy Vunipola.

And the Gloucester forward acknowledges the support shown by head coach Stuart Lancaster and the management team.

"It's a great amount of faith taken by them, and obviously I'm grateful for that," Morgan told BBC Radio 5 live.

"But it's something that I hope I can repay back straight away."

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Morgan suffered the leg injury in a Premiership match in January, but says he never let himself think his World Cup dream could be over despite the months of painstaking rehab.

"I've not really allowed myself to doubt," he continued. "I've been lucky with the medical team that I have - Gloucester and here - they've been superb, and worked really hard from the get-go.

"I just tried to positive throughout the whole experience, and just allowed myself to say: 'Right, if I make it I make it, if I don't I don't; but I know I've tried my hardest.'"

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The 26-year-old believes he is match fit and nearing his best form, despite only playing in two competitive games since his comeback.

"I feel comfortable, I feel happy," he added.

"I'm just looking forward to getting stuck in to the next game. We train at such a high intensity - I know there is no experience like a game - but the intensities we are training at are replicating that."

And Morgan has urged his team-mates to savour the experience on Friday night, despite the inevitable pressure of being the host nation.

"Something of this magnitude I won't have experienced, and a lot of people won't have," he admitted.

"But at the end of the day it's a game of rugby - I have plenty of them under my belt - so we should be all right getting into it.

"I know everyone is well prepared, I know everyone is going to do their job - that's the trust we have in our squad - but then we want to go out there and enjoy it too."

Kieran Brookes in action against Italy
Eleven of Kieran Brookes' 12 caps have come off the bench so far in his England career

Replacement prop Kieran Brookes meanwhile says playing in a World Cup is a "massive dream come true", especially given he only made his full international debut last June.

"I wasn't really thinking about the World Cup last June, I was more concentrating on actually making my debut, which was pretty exciting at the time," he told 5 live.

"If someone was to tell me back then I would be playing in the World Cup, I would have told them probably not.

"I'm just enjoying the ride and just trying to enjoy as much of it as I can."