Having completed the epic bike ride from Cardiff to Paris ahead of pre-season, Max Llewellyn is now ready to build on a breakthrough 2021/22.
The homegrown centre made a total of 11 first team appearances, his most in a single campaign for the Blue and Blacks to date, finishing the season with a string of games in the number 12 jersey.
But in the off season, the former Glantaf pupil took on a different type of challenge - cycling more than 500km, from Cardiff to Paris, in aid of the Cardiff Rugby Community Foundation and #StayStrongForOws.
More than £30,000 was raised for the cause and for Llewellyn, memories of a lifetime were created: “It was an amazing experience, and I didn’t think I’d enjoy it was much as I did,” he said.
“It’s an experience that I will reflect on and can be so happy that I did get involved. There was a real sense of achievement in completing it and I can’t wait to do it again some day.
“It was great to experience it alongside a really good mate in Teddy. But it’s also about the friends you make along the way, cycling alongside each other for hours each day.
“I’m still in touch with them now, through Instagram, and we send messages back and forth.
“Most of it I’ll look back on as high points, but at the end of each day it was great to have everyone together, celebrating our achievements after a tough day on the bike.
“The low points probably came at the end of day one, going through the hills of Bath. They were tough and I think everyone struggled there. But that only made everyone closer and got everyone to bond a bit better.
“It was completely different to anything I’ve ever done, but there was a similar sense to rugby of working hard together and achieving something as a group.
“But I’ve never been on a bike for that long, and I’ve never exercised for that many hours in a day. We’re usually working more intense but for a lot shorter time.
“It was completely different, which took me out of my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless.
“I definitely understood that the Community Foundation was there before but once I signed up and got involved I really got to understand the amazing work that they do.
“Going forward, and having that understanding, I definitely want to continue to get involved and help out.”
Llewellyn’s strong end of season form saw him scoring two tries in the final three rounds, linking up with Rey Lee-Lo and Mason Grady in the Cardiff midfield.
The centre is driven by the competitive midfield division at the Arms Park, as he looks to take his game to the next level in the upcoming campaign.
Llewellyn added: “I managed to finish last season on a really good note and this pre-season is about me building on that.
“I want to get back to where I was but also push past it and come back in better shape to perform better.
“The centres here are a tight-knit group and we’ve got a good mix here. There’s a few older boys, who bring the experience, alongside younger boys.
“It’s good to have a bit of competition because it always pushes you and gets you going.”
All proceeds of the Cardiff to Paris bike ride is donated to the Cardiff Rugby Community Foundation and #StayStrongForOws. To support these amazing causes, please click HERE