Mike Ellery admits his transition from back row to wing – via England 7s – has been a whirlwind but the Saracens flyer says an Aviva Premiership Rugby chance is all he craves.
Ellery cut his teeth as a No.8 for Moseley, but his pace soon caught the eye of the England 7s selectors.
And after starring in the shorter form of the game – culminating in an appearance at the Commonwealth Games last summer – the 25-year-old decided to chance his arm back in the XV version.
Ellery signed for Sarries in the summer, but he’s still waiting for his first Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance.
And the former Newcastle Falcon insists he will be doing everything he can to impress director of rugby Mark McCall in the LV= Cup clash against London Welsh on Sunday.
“I’ve been playing quite well when given the chance, but obviously the big aim is to be given a chance in Aviva Premiership Rugby,” said Ellery.
“It was always going to take time, but I wanted a new challenge. I just need to keep my head down.
“I’m really enjoying it back in the XVs, I’m not too used to playing on the wing but I’m learning all the time and can only get better.
“I was originally a back row, then I went to play 7s for a couple of years and since I’ve been back I’ve converted to wing. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind.
“It’s obviously very different. The fitness demands are the biggest difference, but also the intricacies of the position are new to me, I’ve never done that before.
“Simon Amor, the England 7s head coach, was the first person to give me a chance in the backs, and from there it has developed. I certainly believe I have the skillset able to make the transition, I’ve been pleased with how it has gone.”
Ellery certainly made a good impression, scoring on his senior Saracens debut against Harlequins in their opening match of this year’s LV= Cup – a game they won 25-20.
Sarries went on to beat Ospreys 21-9 and Ellery knows a victory over London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium would put them in a commanding position in Pool 1.
“We’ve had a couple of hard games against Quins and Ospreys,” he added. “Quins was a really tight affair, but we snuck over the line, and we had to show a lot of character against Ospreys.
“We’ll just be concentrating on ourselves against London Welsh and hopefully we’ll come away with a result.”
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