URC Origins: Cardiff star Ellis Bevan doing his bit for the grassroots game

URC Origins: Cardiff star Ellis Bevan doing his bit for the grassroots game

The URC Origin Rounds are firmly focussed on supporting the grassroots game and Cardiff Rugby’s Ellis Bevan is certainly doing just that.

The Arms Park scrum-half has taken up a role as an assistant coach with local community club Pentyrch and was on hand for their Division Two meeting with Penarth last weekend.

“It’s a great club with good people and something I’m enjoying,” said the Wales age-grade international.

Pentyrch definitely appreciate having him on board, as club secretary Alun Davidson confirms.

"It's a real credit to Ellis that he's willing to give something back to a grassroots club in the region he plays for,” he said.

“We're really pleased to welcome him to the club and hope he enjoys his time coaching with us."

Club captain Sam Scanlon added:

“It’s a real boost for the boys to have Ellis join us as a coach. We can learn a lot from his insight and knowledge of the game.”

The England-born Bevan, who qualifies for Wales through his father, is quick to acknowledge the part grassroots teams played in his own journey to the professional ranks.

Raised in Solihull, in the west Midlands, he started out with two local clubs - Pertemps Bees and Old Silhillians - going on to attend Bryanston College, in Dorset, and then study at Cardiff Met.

It was Met team socks he wore for the Round 10 Origin clash with Connacht at the Arms Park, in a nod to the part the college played in his development.

“I went through the Welsh Exiles set-up and I was advised if I wanted to progress in the Welsh system it was a good idea to go to a University here,” he explained.

“Obviously I knew Cardiff Met was pretty decent. It married up with my studies and had good rugby facilities.

“I really enjoyed my time there.”

His obvious talent saw him selected to represent Wales U20s, adding to caps at U18s and U19s level.

Then, in his final year at University, in 2020, the business and law student was offered the chance to train with Cardiff Rugby and secured a regional contract on the back of that.

“I've always pushed to be a professional rugby player. That’s always been the dream,” he said.

While he was born, raised and schooled in England, his Welsh roots run deep, as his name suggests.

“My dad grew up in Sketty in Swansea,” he explains.

“He moved to the Midlands for work when he was in his mid-20s and he’s been there ever since.

“He had a massive impact in terms of pushing my Welsh roots. It’s always been a Welsh household in terms of the mentality of it.

“Come the Six Nations and the autumn internationals, we would always be at the Principality Stadium for the games.

“So it’s always been Wales.”

That’s further demonstrated by the identity of his favourite players when he was growing up.

“My first recollection of rugby was probably Shane Williams. He was my hero, him side-stepping and that sort of stuff,” he reveals.

“Then I fully invested in rugby and became a proper fan around 2012, 2013, with the Grand Slam and into the Lions where Wales had such a big impact. That’s when I realised I was a super fan.

“Shane Williams and Mike Phillips were a massive part of it at that time, along with George North.

“Then growing up and becoming a scrum-half, I looked at Aaron Smith for technical and Mike Phillips for the bigger, physical attributes of a No 9.”

Having bided his time at the Arms Park for a couple of years, he has enjoyed a real breakthrough this season, making ten appearances already.

He has generally served as back-up to Wales star Tomos Williams, but handed a start against Connacht he produced arguably his best performance for the region.

“Tomos is a great player to learn off, but as much as I do that, we are not the same player,” he said.

“I am just trying to be the best version of me, whether that’s seeing a bit of space and using my instinct or playing structured and using my kicking game, which I like to think is decent.

“I feel I bring quite athletic and physical attributes, whether that be my fitness or athletic ability. I try to get to rucks at high-speed and obviously that’s the way we like to play.

“For me, it’s keep improving and keep developing. I am by no means the finished article, but hopefully I can keep pushing and more and better things are to come.”

Next up for Bevan will be Saturday evening’s Origin Round encounter with URC table-toppers Leinster at the Arms Park.

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