Written by Stuart McLennan
Just appointed Director of Rugby at Cleveland, Glenn Morrison, has an urgent agenda item to ensure the team is ready to rock when the North American Rugby League competition commences in less than two months.
“Absolutely recruitment is number one priority,” Morrison told Everything Rugby League.
“We will only have three import spots available to start with so I will have to make sure we make the correct decisions here. I will really look at developing the spine of the team with these imports. Halves and hookers (are) the key. We will need brains to help develop the other newer players to the game. I’m hoping to speak with agents in Australia and the UK to get the ball rolling with this ASAP.”
While Morrison will initially perform the role from the United Kingdom, where he works as Head of Athletics at Bradford Grammar School, he is not ruling out the possibility of moving to Cleveland down the track.
“My role at Bradford Grammar won’t be affected. I will be initially doing the Cleveland position as a consulting role and travelling over there in the UK Easter and summer holidays. I spoke to the school prior to accepting the position and have the full support of the Head, which is great.
“At these early stages I feel the role can be done as it has been structured. Depending on how fast the growth of the game is, we may have to look at this (moving to Cleveland) down the track.”
The organization of Cleveland Rugby League would like to welcome….. Glenn Morrison as the Director of Rugby 🏉⚡️🎸🔥 pic.twitter.com/mILJXnWUHV
— Cleveland Rugby League (@clerugbyleague) April 19, 2021
While a move to the United States is a possibility, Morrison is adamant that he won’t be coming out of retirement to provide on field guidance to the squad.
“Ha ha unfortunately my shoulders are done in so even though I would love to lace the boots up for the club that definitely won’t be on the cards.”
Despite not being based in the US, Morrison will be in close contact with Cleveland Head Coach Monte Gaddis who he met when the former American football player first tried his hand at rugby league with the Shawcross Sharks.
“I first met Monte when he trialled for the Toronto Wolfpack team. He ended up playing some rugby league at Shawcross just next to where I was coaching at Dewsbury Rams so I invited him along to a few sessions to help him better understand the game. I have followed his journey ever since. Now I’m excited to join the ride.”
The former NRL and Super League forward who notched up over 300 games, is excited about what’s ahead for the new competition as well as the general state of the game.
“I feel there is massive potential for NARL to succeed. There is a lot of passion for the game in the USA and with this passion I feel you will see huge growth.
“The game is in a great position especially in Australia. It’s fast and entertaining and that’s what the fans want. It’s tough on the bodies of the players, however that comes with the territory.”