By David Roberts
Ellis Bevan is pumping iron in his garage in order to muscle his way onto the Cardiff Met production line that feeds into professional rugby.
The Wales Under-20 scrum-half is biding to follow in the recent footsteps of Alex Dombrandt and Luke Northmore, who moved to Harlequins, as well as Jac Arthur, Matt Marsh, Cory Lewis and Aled Ward who are all playing in the English second tier Championship.
Bevan had an impressive campaign for Wales U20 in the Six Nations earlier this year.
Now, he has been overcoming lockdown restrictions by training in a garage in Solihull in a bid to ensure he is fighting fit for rugby’s return.
Bevan is a product of the Welsh Exiles system and was a regular for Gareth Williams’ Under-20 side this season. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic robbed him of a chance of figuring at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy this summer.
“I went to a school called Bryanston in Dorset from year nine up until year 13. From there I went to Cardiff Met. I played first XV rugby and was captain at Bryanston,” said Bevan.
“I was born and grew up in Solihull. As most kids and boys do when they’re growing up I played a lot of different sports.
“Football and rugby were my main ones, but just before I went to senior school I put everything into rugby. When I was at Bryanston I was affiliated with Bath and was there for about four years from Under-14’s to Under-18’s and then I got released.
Cardiff Met’s Ellis Bevan looked very good at scrum-half for Wales U20 tonight.
Born in Solihull, unclear if he’s Welsh-qualified or playing as a student, but certainly worth a look.
— Cardiff Rugby Life (@CardiffRugbyWeb) February 21, 2020
“Six weeks later I was with the Welsh Exiles system at the Super Six tournament in Wales. That’s what kick-started the Welsh pathway for me.
“Gareth Davies heads up the Welsh Exiles programme. I was in communication with him and he put me down for a few training camps.
“I played a few matches over the course of a year before the Super Six. As a team the Exiles did quite well in that tournament and a few of us got into the wider squad for Wales Under-18.
“I was fortunate to get through the various rounds and eventually get capped and then play for Wales Under-19 and Under-20.
“I’m not in university at the moment for obvious reasons, but I’ve just finished my second year at Cardiff Met.
“I’m studying business management with a law pathway. I’ve got one more year to go.
“They’ve given us some strength and conditioning equipment which I’m using back at home in Soihull. I’m training in my garage.
.@cardiffmetrfc scrum-half and former @BryanstonSchool captain @Ellisbevy10 on his time with #WalesU20, @welshexiles, and how he’s training hell for leather in a garage in Solihull 🏋️♂️ https://t.co/jOtDTEcZu7 pic.twitter.com/iv7Th91vHl
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) July 21, 2020
“It’s been very helpful of them to provide that equipment so it’s about being in the best possible shape for when rugby returns. At university we’re aiming to get back playing on September 1. But it’s not been cemented yet.”
Bevan’s father Paul hails from Swansea which makes him eligible for Wales. He is not signed to a professional team but is attracting interest from Welsh regions and clubs in England.
“When Covid began it was quite challenging as I was trying to finish my second year exams and also train as hard as I could,” added Bevan.
“It was tough as I’d missed all my lectures and seminars due to the Six Nations. I wasn’t really around for most of my studies, but I did have great support from my university who gave me extra time and extended deadlines. I got decent results in the end.
“It was unfortunate for me to miss out on the Junior World Cup in Italy, but there are people a lot worse off than me in these circumstances.
“I can’t really complain, but it would have been amazing to go to Italy.
Congratulations to @Ellisbevy10 who played for Wales U20’s in their 6 Nations round one match last Friday. They’ll be playing in Ireland (Cork) this Friday. Another OB playing international rugby, well done Ellis, lots of support from us here at Bryanston. pic.twitter.com/Ob11RmYbIu
— Bryanston Rugby (@BryanstonRugby) February 5, 2020
“My biggest aim and objective is to earn a professional contract coming out of university with a degree under my belt. If an opportunity does come up, I need to be ready for it.”
Bevan was one of two scrum-halves in the Wales squad for the Under-20 Six Nations alongside Dafydd Buckland.
“This year it was a big aim of mine to put a marker down and if I got an opportunity, I wanted to take it. I was pleased with how it went.
“If I’m honest I went into the campaign as second choice nine. There were only two scrum-halves in the squad and Dafydd was in the squad last year and is a good player.
“I tried to take in everything I could and exhaust the coaches with questions. When my opportunity came I wanted to take it in my stride and to play in the five games was really pleasing for me.
GOLDEN ARCHERS 🏹 @cardiffmetrfc is a regular supplier of talent to the top leagues in Wales and England, but the Class of 2020 is heading even further afield 🎓 https://t.co/fhFWUHeEyp pic.twitter.com/lKnw2zCsaF
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) July 14, 2020
“I thought I had a half decent campaign and it was just a shame I couldn’t follow on from that in Italy.”
Bevan has played age grade rugby for Wales and has also played BUCS and WRU National Championship rugby with Cardiff Met.
He added: “Danny Milton has been great for me, not only as a coach but also as a mentor. At Cardiff Met we play in the BUCS Super Rugby but also in the Welsh Championship.
“The guys you play against at Championship level definitely don’t take any mercy but that’s good for us as a team and from a personal point of view.
“It gives you the experience of playing against tough teams. It’s a good experience and we try to use the ball as quickly as possible to tire teams out.”