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Harlequins clash perfect preparation ahead of URC campaign - Llewellyn

First Team News | 6th September 2021

Max Llewellyn believes the pre-season clash against Harlequins was the perfect preparation ahead of the start of the United Rugby Championship.

The young centre was in the heart of the action as Cardiff kicked off pre-season with an 11-try thriller against the English champions on Saturday.

The former Ysgol Glantaf pupil opened the scoring at Twickenham Stoop against the club that his father, Gareth, represented more than 100 times. 

Llewellyn, whose powerful ball carrying game gave the visitors the platform to consistently get over the gain-line, was pleased with a number of aspects of Cardiff’s gam, particularly in the opening 40.

“It was a really good game to be fair. We came in with a game-plan in the first half and really wanted to push the tempo,” explained the academy graduate.

“We wanted to keep the tempo high and I thought we did that really well.

“When we had the ball, we were clinical with it and managed to come away with tries

“If we’re being a little bit picky, even with how good the first half was, there were still tries out there that we could’ve scored.

“Obviously Harlequins won the Premiership last season, so we knew they would be a good side.

“They have strength in depth so the rolling substitutions was always going to be a factor.

“But it was really good for us to get game-time like that going into the new season and it puts us in a good place to get out there.

“We’re obviously going to be disappointed because we didn’t win the game. Every time you put the jersey on you want to be winning the game.

“But there were loads of positives for us to take from that and also stuff for us to learn. We can go back through that game and hopefully when the season arrives we won’t be losing games.”

The opening pre-season encounter saw Llewellyn returning from a shoulder injury, which he suffered towards the tail-end of the 2020/21 campaign.

And there are plenty of selection headaches in midfield this season, as the former Wales under-20 international looks to compete with the likes of Willis Halaholo, Rey Lee-Lo, ben Thomas, Garyn Smith, Harri Millard, Mason Grady and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso for a place in Dai Young’s side.

With less than three weeks remaining until Cardiff kick off their competitive season against Connacht at the Arms Park, Llewellyn is targeting a run of games in the first team as he looks to take his game to the next level.

The homegrown star added: “I was really looking forward to getting back out there, especially after a little bit of an injury over the summer.

“I really enjoyed it. It was really tough at times but it was nice to get a try and it was a good performance in general.

“I would love to be involved, but that’s now a decision for Dai to make so fingers crossed!

“This season the aim is to play as many first team minutes as I can. I want to keep improving as a player.

“I never want to feel like I’m doing stuff for the sake of it. I want to continue to improve my game.”

Cardiff are set to go head-to-head with Bath Rugby THIS FRIDAY in a mouth-watering Anglo-Welsh pre-season clash at Cardiff Arms Park. Tickets are available NOW as we are set to finally welcome YOU back to CAP!