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'Another James Lowe or Gibson-Park': Irish glee as New Zealand lose 'next Dan Carter'

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

The loss of Hurricanes’ first five-eighth Aidan Morgan to Ireland club Ulster on a two-year deal was met with excitement and resignation from both countries.


The reaction from New Zealand fans was one of resignation, acceptance of Morgan’s move after sitting on the sidelines with the Hurricanes behind other first fives.

After moving down from Auckland, for most of his stint with the club he bid his time behind Jackson Garden-Bachop and then the returning Brett Cameron, while at times Ruben Love played at No 10.

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In his 25 Super Rugby caps over three seasons he started 20 times, often against the weaker teams as part of a wider squad rotation. He flashed playmaking ability, elusive running and excellent goal kicking as a rounded first five prospect.

Hurricanes’ fans reacted with understanding to the deal given the lack of game time, but were saddened by the ‘big loss’. One fan felt that they had lost ‘our next Dan Carter’ from a player dubbed as a future All Black.

The Irish reaction was understandably quite chuffed at having an Irish-qualified prospect at just 22-years-old land with Ulster.


After the success of Ireland internationals James Lowe, halfback Jamison Gibson-Park and Bundee Aki, all signed out of New Zealand Super teams, expectations are high that Morgan will become the next gem.

The coup was described as “huge”, potentially a “great signing” for a young player with so many games under his belt already.


The loss of Morgan is the second flyhalf under the age 25 in New Zealand to take opportunities abroad, with Crusader Fergus Burke inking a deal with Saracens as Owen Farrell’s successor.

Last year the Hurricanes signed New Zealand U20s fullback Harry Godfrey to a two-year deal until the end of 2025, while one-cap All Black Brett Cameron has been a standout performer this season.

The Hurricanes announced a new deal for Cameron last week until the end of 2026, which painted a crowded picture for Morgan to contend with.


Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV


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David 25 days ago

What else is Ireland buying in? Middle distance runners from Kenya, sprinters from Jamaica, wrestlers from Iran …?

Warner 25 days ago

Good 19 more better than him , hv him who cares , every school has players just like if not better , to compare this idiot to Carter obviously gives rugby pass scribes a stiffy losers

edward 25 days ago

Not sure I’d compare him to Carter - he’s more in the mold of Damian McKenzie - smaller, agile, very skilled. His size/defense was probably one of the things holding him back from making more starts in Super Rugby, but he’s overcome that with nouse this year so this is a very good signing for Ireland

Dan 26 days ago

Lowe is overrated shite.

Carter was a once in a generation player.

This dude is much more likely to be the former - and definitely mot the latter

David 26 days ago

next dan carter for a start wrong province not from canterbury who produce number10s think brett mertins carter there is only one dan carter

Another 26 days ago

He’s not the next Dan Carter. Irish fans seem pretty shameless these days, nevertheless.

Red and White Dynamight 26 days ago

One of the best schoolboy backs Ive ever seen. Sensational player. Plays well above his small frame, heavily committed in contact, brave AF. Huge loss.

Nick 26 days ago

Got to love how Ireland unahsamedly continue to treat international rugby as a club transfer market. They don’t even try to hide the fact they just straight up buy foreigners for their national team. Then they have the audacity to claim they're the best in the world and produce great players. Meanwhile, half their squad will be from NZ and SA in no time. It stands to reason though that when you buy up all of NZ & SA’s rejects, then you’ll always get slapped up by NZ & SA’s top players in tournaments that matter.

finn 26 days ago

from 2011 to 2018 Ireland never finished better than 3rd in the under 20s six nations, so its not surprising that the current senior side includes a few players from abroad.

from 2019 to 2024 Ireland have won 3 of 5 six nations, and never finished worse than 3rd, so its likely that the 2027 and 2031 senior sides will be close to 100% home-grown.

Troy 26 days ago

Good luck to the young man. I thought he always did his best in representing his team and himself.
Go the Hurricanes

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