When Harry Morkel was still at school he struggled to gain a place in the under 14 team. He looked so ungainly and that the general opinion was that he would be good only as a forward. He asked to play at wing and built a reputation in that position. He was big, strong and fast and became a feared player. When an opponent tried to tackle him, he simply pushed him out of the way and carried on running spectacularly – with his knees almost to his chin as he ran. Often 4 to 5 opponents would lie in the dust before he was brought to a stand still.
Of Harry, a prominent sporting journalist (E.J. Platnauer) wrote in 1908:
”Harry Morkel - Athlete, Rugby footballer and cricketer. The best hurdler who ever ran over sticks in South Africa. He went to England in 1898, but failed to reproduce his South African form. As Rugby footballer he was a brilliant wing three-quarter”.