London Irish snap up Welsh whizkid EllisBy Alan Manicom
July 02, 2012
London Irish have snapped up Gerard Ellis, recently named one of the most promising young schoolboy players in Great Britain and Ireland.
The Llandovery College captain was selected in Rugby World magazine's All Stars Team of 2012, traditionally a very reliable indicator of future stars of the game.
Ellis has the ability to play everywhere in the pack and has excelled at flanker, No. 8 and hooker.
Former Harlequins coach Iestyn Thomas, who is now in charge of the Llandovery College team, said: “I rate Gerard as highly as any boy we have handled.
"I am not exaggerating when I say that includes the likes of Craig Quinnell, Gwyn Jones, Alun Wyn Jones and George North."
"He is the best scrummager, the best hooker, the strongest ball carrier in the back row and the most dynamic forward in the loose."
Ellis, aged 19, 6ft 2in and weighing over 18st, made a big impression on Wasps coaches Dai Young and Paul Turner when he turned out in an A League game against Harlequins last December.
But he has opted to continue his education in London Irish's academy.
Exiles have also recruited versatile back Conor Gaston from Ulster and South African hooker Shaun Malton from Johannesburg University.
Director of rugby Brian Smith said: "I have been very impressed with Shaun since he has been training with us.
"He is showing great work ethic and enthusiasm which is fantastic.
"It is also important that we recruit the right players into our Academy.
"I have been equally impressed with what I have seen of both Gerard and Conor and look forward to watching them both develop further during their time in the Academy.”