Aberavon’s long standing servant Richard Morris will have the honour of leading the Wizards out with his two-year-old son James tomorrow for the visit of Newport in a Principality Premiership clash (KO 1.30pm).
The Wizards’ veteran No 8 will be making his 500th appearance for the club, 17 years after making his bow as a 21-year-old – ironically against the same opposition.
Aberavon coach Simon King said: “I’d admired Richard from afar before joining the club five years ago. He has been a standout performer in the Premiership for a number of years.
“From my perspective he ticks all the boxes. He is a humble guy but plays with total commitment. He is a solid person and is a fantastic ambassador in the dressing room. Players like him and his achievement of playing 500 games should not be under-estimated.
“Due to the physical nature of today’s game and the demands placed on players, I doubt his achievement of reaching 500 games will be done again at this level.”
The former Neath man won the Wizards player of the year award in 1998 and repeated the feat in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
In 2003, he broke the club record for tries scored by a forward in a season when he touched down 25 times.
Morris also holds the Aberavon all-time try record with 153 to date.
"He’s been a great servant to Aberavon and he’s a top man as well," said Wizards chairman Andrew John.
"It’s ironic that he made his debut against Newport and will play his 500th game against them as well.
"I remember him as a supporter before I became chairman. He possessed sheer strength and presence on the field.
"He’s also a dressing room presence and has been a massive example for younger players.
"It’s a really special achievement and it would be nice if as many people as possible are there to mark it."