Twelve months ago, Ellis was on the cusp of breaking through to the St Helens first team on a regular basis. Having debuted towards the end of the 2009 season, he made a couple of further appearances and impressed enough in pre-season to be given a chance to shine in the “Karalius Cup” game against Widnes Vikings.
Ellis shone in the game, setting up several plays with accurate passes before scoring the game-breaking try that ensured a 40-26 victory for the Saints. Following a promising start to the campaign, disaster struck a couple of games into the season.
“I had a bad year really,” Ellis explained. “I picked up a knee injury and was out all year.”
That injury resulted in Ellis being cut from Saints having worked so hard to earn a first team squad number.
It prompted Ian Millward to take a look at the 21 year old and he saw enough to prepare a one year contract that Ellis was happy to ink.
“I’ve come here to get more experience, play against more physical people and get stuck in.”
He is under no illusions. “I was playing Reserves at St Helens, and it’s a big step up really.”
At Leigh, Ellis has got a couple of very experienced players to guide him in new Loverugbyleague.com columnist John Duffy, and former Kiwi international and Bradford Bulls superstar Robbie Hunter-Paul.
“Everyone has been good so far, all the lads are sound and the likes of John and Robbie have helped me out. They’ve all been good to me.”
“It’s good, I’m enjoying myself here.” Ellis enthused about the Centurions and their Sports Village setting.
“Hopefully I can do well. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Leigh fans have seen Ellis play two games so far. His first against Salford revealed a solid kicking game and whilst this was one area that he didn’t really excel in against Warrington, it was his quick pass and vision that kickstarted a seventh minute move that led to the Centurions taking the lead.
Warrington eventually won 58-10 and Leigh will take on Harlequins this Sunday (30th) before travelling to Batley to make their Northern Rail Cup bow.