Support our Nation today - please donate here
Sport

Ellis Bevan ready for Australia challenge after facing Faf de Klerk on debut

02 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Cardiff’s Ellis Bevan. Photo ©INPHO/Ashley Crowden

Ellis Bevan is ready to push for a Wales starting place in Australia after embracing the challenge posed by double World Cup winner Faf de Klerk.

Bevan will be in the scrum-half selection mix as Wales head coach Warren Gatland considers his options for Saturday’s first Test against the Wallabies in Sydney.

Gatland also has experienced number nines Gareth Davies and Kieran Hardy available to him as Wales prepare for a two-match series plus an appointment with Queensland Reds.

Bevan headed Down Under following a Test debut against world champions South Africa at Twickenham that pitched the 24-year-old Cardiff player opposite Springboks scrum-half De Klerk.

“It was something I was really looking forward to and wanted to embrace, coming up against a double World Cup winner on my debut,” Bevan said.

“If I wanted to get to where he is, I have to come up against the best.

“He told me that I had a good game and said to keep going. He was kind enough to give me his shirt, and we had a photo in the changing room. He is a good guy on and off the field.”

Solihull

Solihull-born Bevan attended Bryanston School in Dorset, with England internationals Charlie Ewels, Ollie Devoto and Phil de Glanville being among his fellow former pupils.

But Bevan, whose father hails from Swansea, never had any doubt where his international aspirations would centre on.

“It has always been Wales,” he added.

“It is not something that has been a question for me. I know I am true to myself when I say that.”

Bevan’s father, stepmother, girlfriend, aunties, uncles and friends from Solihull and Bryanston were all among his supporters against South Africa.

And Bevan is also quick to praise the influence on him of ex-Cardiff number nines and fellow Wales internationals Tomos Williams and Lloyd Williams as he made his way in the game.

“I went in there (Cardiff) as a 20-year-old boy still at university, and I had Tomos and Lloyd Williams to learn off, and I could not have asked for better people,” he said.

“There was Lloyd’s kicking game and game-management, but also the time he gave to me.

“He would never give me an easy ride because it was competition. There were never any freebies, and I would not want that, but he helped me.

“There are three of us in the squad (in Australia), and the other two guys are quality scrum-halves.

“If I can have a career half as good as Gareth and Kieran have had, then I will be doing all right.”

England-based players

Gatland’s resources have increased considerably for the Australia series, with several England-based players who missed the South Africa game because it fell outside World Rugby’s summer Test window now available.

That contingent includes Exeter forwards Dafydd Jenkins and Christ Tshiunza, plus Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell and Saracens centre Nick Tompkins, as Gatland targets a first win against the Wallabies in Australia since 1969.

Wales have suffered 11 successive defeats on Australian soil, including losses such as 63-6 (1991), 42-3 (1996) and 31-0 (2007).

Gatland’s team, meanwhile, have not won a Test match since beating Georgia during the 2023 World Cup pool phase, suffering seven defeats on the bounce.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago

Although I’m looking forward to Wales touring Australia have a sense of trepidation seeing we are still a side in transition, but hope that our players still value the jersey, focus playing rugby, and prove all the doubters wrong.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.