Cardiff flanker Ellis Jenkins has won the Principality Premiership player of the month award for November
Despite a mixed bag of early season form for the capital club, Ellis’ performances stood out last month and helped his side to two home wins over Neath and Bridgend taking them to sixth in the table.
Cardiff Director of Rugby Martyn Fowler spoke of Ellis’ outstanding attitude both on and off the field. “Ellis is incredibly mature for his age – at only 19 he displays all the attributes of a professional rugby player. He is technically and tactically astute, and one of the best readers of the game I’ve come across in eight years as Cardiff University Director of Rugby and four years involved with the Premiership.
“The fact that he captained the side twice last month is a mark of the respect we have for Ellis in the club, and speaking to some of the opposition coaches we have played against, they too are full of praise for him. I see no reason why Ellis won’t be one of the Blues’ first team open side flankers in the not too distant future.”
Fowler believes the Principality Premiership is currently in a good place. “The league is all about developing players and coaches and I feel we are currently achieving that goal. At Cardiff, we are now regularly fielding teams with a very young average age – against Bedwas last month our half backs were both teenagers – and I think standards are better than ever.”
Ellis added, “It’s been good on a personal level to get a good run of games, and they’ve all been quite close matches recently against strong opposition which is enjoyable. I’ve had experience of captaining age grade sides in the past but Cardiff is a big club with a lot of history so it means a lot to get a chance to wear the captain’s armband.”
Ellis, who is a cousin of Wales kicking legend Neil Jenkins, admits he got a lot out of rubbing shoulders with Martyn Williams before his retirement from the game. “Martyn is certainly the player I’ve always admired and looked up to, so although I didn’t get to play with him last season, I got to train alongside him during the season and managed to have a few chats with him about the game which was great.
“My aims for the rest of the season are to keep playing well for Cardiff and hopefully get a call-up for the Wales Under 20 squad for the Six Nations and Junior World Championship. If I can get some game time for the Blues too that would be great.”
After two weeks of British & Irish Cup action, the Principality Premiership returns this weekend and Cardiff travel to Newport on Friday night for a key mid table battle (7.15pm).
Ellis Jenkins fact file:
Born: 29.4.93, Church Village
Education: Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive
Most admired player: Martyn Williams
Biggest influence on career: Dale McIntosh, Ellis’ coach for most of his age grade rugby, and parents.