Ellis Flying High with the Ospreys

Whilst the national game takes precedence with the arrival of this year’s Six Nations tournament, Cardiff University’s own Arthur Ellis caught up with The Tab to discuss his own journey to the top of the game.

For many of us students, that beloved bubble of security called education is about to pop and it’s probably about time we started thinking about what we want to do with our lives. But for Cardiff University business student Arthur Ellis, things are going pretty well.

Several international caps for England. Two Six Nations tournaments. One Junior World Cup campaign. And most importantly, the best try celebration in the history of the Welsh Varsity. Not a bad CV to have in your arsenal whilst doing a degree is it?

Currently plying his trade between Welsh Premiership side Bridgend and Pro12 outfit Ospreys, the 22 year old explains that he has been fortunate throughout his young career.

Taking on the Pontypridd defence

“When I joined Bridgend, I was spotted by Steve Tandy and he asked me to do some training with the squad. I have moved position to the back row and have started to play for them [Ospreys] recently, which has been amazing!”

Ellis’s rugby days have come a long way since running around as a youngster at Richmond RFC and St Benedict’s School. It was during these years that his career started to take off.

“Upon leaving school, I was offered a two year full-time academy deal with London Wasps. I jumped at the opportunity and had an amazing two years with the team I supported as a kid.”

By this time, international duties were already achieved, representing England at Under 18 level.

It wasn’t long until Ellis was called up again, and it was here that he realised his proudest achievements to date.

Ellis and co at the JWC

“During my spell at Wasps I also played for the England Under 20 squad in two Six Nations tournaments and one Junior World Cup in Argentina.”

After a stint at Welsh region, Newport Gwent Dragons, the next stop was the Millennium Stadium. It was at last year’s victorious Welsh Varsity match that Ellis put his own mark on the game, not only carrying out a brilliant individual performance during the match, but also teaching everyone “How to Dougie” with his try celebration. The physicality of the professional game however, leaves little to dance about.

Yes, this did happen.

“It has been really difficult for me to adapt to the professional game because it is such a step up in fitness and physicality and I’m not the biggest of guys.”

“University rugby is a lot slower and a lot less physical but there is a very high level of skill and this creates opportunities for players to express their selves and try things.”

Running out for Varsity 2012 at the Millennium Stadium

Despite all the demanding training and already having several appearances for the Ospreys in the bag, Ellis is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, putting his degree at the top of his priorities.

“After getting my degree, I really hope to sign full time with the Ospreys and continue my rugby. And of course to win another Varsity!”  I’m sure we’ll all be looking out for the ‘Dougie 2.0’!

With so much already achieved, one can only argue that the future is bright for the young Osprey.

Arthur is starting in LV=Cup action for the Ospreys against Harlequins today at 5pm on Sky Sports 4.