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Llewellyn pleased with first start

Age Grade & Academy | 1st March 2020

Max Llewellyn was lost for words when he was handed his first Guinness PRO14 start but the centre received plenty of plaudits following his performance at Murrayfield.

The Cardiff Blues academy star was thrust into the starting line-up when former age-grade centre partner Ben Thomas went down in the team run.

Llewellyn, who made his PRO14 debut last week, was handed the number 12 jersey in an injury-hit Blues team and despite the defeat to table-topping Edinburgh, the 21-year-old impressed.

He said: “It was really tough and more physical than I am used to but at the time I really enjoyed it. I was really nervous about getting out there but once you’re in the moment it all tends to go away.

“I was a bit speechless before going out at the stadium. I couldn’t put into words I was to be making my first start. I realised on Thursday in the team run so it was exciting times but also unfortunate for Ben.

“I was pretty happy with my performance in general. There were a few mistakes I would like to take out of it but on the whole I’m pretty happy.

“We were trying to vary it up a bit, whether it was me carrying or going out one and then wide. At set play we executed really well and it was unlucky we didn’t come away with more than we did.”

Llewellyn, the son of former Wales second-row Gareth, came through the Cardiff Schools system. He played alongside Thomas throughout the Cardiff Blues age-grades, whom he also regularly partnered for Cardiff RFC and also played alongside debutant Ioan Davies at Glantaf.

Now the ranger centre is looking to make the most out of his opportunities and knows performance is key to success.

He added: “Ben’s the same year as me and we played through Cardiff Schools, the Cardiff Blues age-grades and then the RFC together. I enjoy playing with Ben, he’s a good player and we compliment each other well.

“Ioan also always played a year up because he was so good, so we’ve played together all the way through school and it was really nice to share the field with him. We’re good friends 

“Performance is key. Hopefully if I can keep performing well then I feel I can push my way into the team and that will hopefully develop into more game time and I will go from there but it’s one step at a time.”