Tuatara-Morrison moves back to go forward
After five years playing in France, Chris Tuatara-Morrison has returned to where his professional rugby career started and wasted no time reacquainting himself with the WA rugby community and working hard to again pull on the Western Force jersey.
His time abroad saw him take in the sights and sounds of three French professional teams, grow his family, with the arrival of his two daughters, and even nail down the French language!
He has been back in Perth since early 2019 and played a starring role for Wests Scarborough in the Fortescue Premier Grade to earn another opportunity at the Force where he played 10 Super Rugby games between 2012 and 2014.
Tuatara-Morrison sees his return not only as a chance to reignite his professional career in Australia but, now a little older and wider, to also share his experience with the young talent progressing through WA’s pathway.
“France was an eye-opener, I left on a six-month contract and it has been five years! I left with no children and just my wife and now we have two kids. Life happened in France and we loved it but it was time for us to get home,” he said.
“I came back with the goal of making the NRC squad. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, no-one has given me a free pass, but I’ve been biding my time in club rugby and tried to play as well as I could there and its paid dividends.”
The bullocking centre has been training with the Force for the past month while also coaching at Wesley College and working as a Development Officer with Rugby WA which includes the Rugby Roos program.
“I am loving it, giving back and doing some work within rugby as well as keeping my feet grounded,” he said.
“Now that I have a daughter who is four and knows what her dad does for work, giving kids a pathway to get into rugby is something I am aware of and passionate about.”
While the 32-year-old didn’t play Global Rapid Rugby he was an interested onlooker and could see the positive impact the innovative law variations had on the game. In keeping with that theme the 2019 NRC will trial two of its own law variations for World Rugby – a 50:22 kick, which would see a team given the lineout if they kick a ball from their half and find touch in their rivals 22; and a goal-line dropout awarded to the defending team holding their rivals up over the try-line.
“I was quite happy I didn’t have to play in that last game against Malaysia Valke, I am not sure I would have been able to keep up,” he joked.
“Rapid Rugby is exciting, it’s good for the young kids to see that level of rugby and its good for Australian rugby too. It’s an exciting way to play and I do think it’s the way forward for the future of rugby.”
Next game: Force vs QLD Country | Saturday, August 31 | Kick-off at 3 pm.