|Full name||Adrian Paul Morley|
10 May 1977 |
Salford, Greater Manchester, England
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||16 st 7 lb (105 kg)|
Adrian Paul Morley (born 10 May 1977) is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. A Great Britain and England international representative prop forward, he played for the Leeds Rhinos (with whom he won the 1999 Challenge Cup), Sydney Roosters (with whom he won the 2002 NRL Premiership), Bradford Bulls (with whom he won 2005's Super League X), Warrington Wolves (with whom he won the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Challenge Cups) and the Salford Red Devils. Morley was the first British player to win both a NRL and Super League championships.
Morley was born in Salford, but played for Leeds between 1995 and 2000. He made his England and Great Britain debuts in 1996. In the 1997 post season, Morley was selected to play for Great Britain in all three matches of the Super League Test series against Australia. Morley played for Leeds at second-row forward in their 1998 Super League Grand Final loss to Wigan. Morley won the Challenge Cup with Leeds in 1999 when they defeated London Broncos 52–16 at Wembley Stadium. He was offered a chance to play alongside his brother Chris Morley in the 2000 World Cup, who played for Wales but chose to commit to England. In July 2000, Morley agreed to join Australian side Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League at the end of the season, who were being coached by former Leeds boss Graham Murray.
The 2000 NRL season was Morley's first at the Roosters. After taking twelve months to fully acclimatise, the tough, hard line forward became a central figure in club's twelfth Premiership – their first in twenty-seven years – playing at second-row forward in the 2002 NRL Grand Final's 30–8 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at Telstra Stadium. Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters travelled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St. Helens. Morley played at second-row forward and scored a try in the Roosters victory. Later that year Morley played in the second row for the Roosters in the 2003 NRL grand final which was lost to Penrith Panthers. In the 2003 Ashes series against Australia, Morley was sent off after just 12 seconds of the opening match for a high tackle on Robbie Kearns. This is the fastest dismissal in the history of Test rugby league. Morely played for the Roosters at prop forward in their 2004 NRL grand final loss to cross-Sydney rivals, the Bulldogs. Morley was then selected in the Great Britain team to compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he played at prop forward in the Lions' 44–4 loss.
In a round 20 match towards the end of his final season (2006) with the Roosters, Morley was sent off after attempting to knee Bulldogs player Corey Hughes in the face as the player attempted to play the ball. Afterwards he was suspended by the NRL judiciary and the Roosters released him from his contract. He returned to the UK before the season's end. Morley had helped the Roosters to a World Club Challenge title as well as two further Grand Final appearances before rejoining English club, Warrington. He is one of only eight Englishmen to have played in Australian National Rugby League Grand Final winning teams.
Morley the only player to win Great Britain caps whilst at the Roosters, although Phil Clarke had won England caps whilst at the Roosters. With a property in Sydney's eastern beach suburbs, and an English partner, rumours are rife that Morley will return to Australia to retire in the sun at the end of his career – not before playing a season or two to conclude his top flight profession as a Rugby League player, with the Roosters.
In 2005 Adrian Morley became the first Englishman to complete the 'rugby league trifecta', winning Premierships in both the National Rugby League, Super League and also winning the Rugby League Challenge Cup. In late 2005, although still contracted to Roosters; Morley joined Bradford at the backend of the season and helped them to claim the Super League championship against his old team Leeds. He played for the Bradford Bulls from the interchange bench in their 2005 Super League Grand Final victory against the Leeds Rhinos. His stay at Bradford was short stayed as he joined Warrington the year after
Morley signed a 4-year deal with Warrington, beginning in 2006. He made his Warrington début against Wigan on 9 February 2007 but lasted only 37 minutes after an accidental clash of heads with Wigan's Eamon O'Carroll which resulted in Morley having surgery on a fractured eye socket. Five rounds later Morley made his home début and comeback against Hull Kingston Rovers. Another clash of heads resulted in Morley leaving the field after only 16 minutes with a displaced fracture of the left cheekbone. He captained the Great Britain test side that faced France in 2007. He was also appointed captain of Warrington. It was while playing for Warrington that he made his 400th competitive senior appearance in Rugby League.
Morely was named in the 24-man England squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and also played against Wales at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster prior to England's departure. Morely then travelled with the England squad to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament in Australia. Group A's first match against Papua New Guinea he played from the interchange bench in England's victory.
Morley guided Warrington to Challenge Cup glory in 2009, beating Huddersfield in the final at Wembley. He was selected to play for England against France in the one-off test in 2010. Morley captained Warrington in the 2010 Challenge Cup Final victory over Leeds. Morley was to lead England in the 2010 Four Nations but was ruled out after injuring himself in a warm up match against the New Zealand Māori rugby league team.
Morley's autobiography, "Moz", was released on 12 November 2012 and reprinted twice in the run up to Christmas 2012.
Morley signed a one-year deal for his hometown club Salford for the 2014 season. Morley spoke about wanting to finish his career with his hometown club and now he will get the chance to do so. The 36-year-old forward was appointed the Red Devils captain at the start of the 2014 season.
On 10 September 2015, Adrian announced that he would retire from playing rugby league at the end of the 2015 season.
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- "League: English captain to miss Four Nations". The New Zealand Herald. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Morley set for 50th cap". Sky Sports. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
- "MORLEY ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT". superleague.co.uk. 2015-09-10. Retrieved 2015-09-11.
- "Adrian Morley to end career with Leeds v New Zealand game". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Warrington Wolves profile
- 2001 Ashes profile
- Article – Morley set for footy grand slam
- Morley to captain Great Britain
- Ryles can overcome injury, and I should know: Morley
- Morley hoping for Seventh Heaven – article at manchestereveningnews.co.uk
- Profile at leedsrugby
- England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org