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Ellis settled in hooker role

Gerard Ellis has walked an unlikely path on his way to becoming a first team regular at London Irish but now he’s there the hooker has no intention of giving up his spot any time soon.

Having come through the ranks at Llandovery College as a flanker, Ellis looked set to establish himself in the back row, only to decide with current now Head of Rugby Operations Glenn Delaney to switch to hooker.

That move inevitably involved a transition period, but having featured in every game bar one this season for Irish in Aviva Premiership Rugby, he is keen to keep hold of that spot, especially with an improved fitness record this year.

“It’s the first season I’ve been injury-free,” he explained.

“It’s nice to get out there and be training with the lads and ready to play on the weekend. I’ve got a run of games under my belt and it’s about ten in a row which is new for me.

“I’m loving my rugby and when you are getting game time, it’s so much easier. For players you just want to be out there every weekend, and I’ve loved the opportunities I’m getting this season.”

Ellis started last weekend’s win over Edinburgh as London Irish put themselves in great position in the Challenge Cup.

The sides meet again this weekend in the Scottish capital knowing that the winner will head into the final two pool games with their destiny in their own hands.

Andy Fenby was the star of the show last time out, scoring a hat-trick in a 38-6 victory, but despite the margin of victory, Ellis is expecting a tough game in Scotland.

“It was great for us to get the win and to be able to come into training this week after a win,” he added.

“We haven’t started the way we wanted in the league but with the changes we made it was always going to take time.

“The good thing is we have Europe to build on and last week was a great result.

“Edinburgh have some guys coming back into their team this week though so we’re under no illusions as to how difficult it’s going to be.

“It will be my first game up in Scotland so I can’t wait and we know that if we win, it’s in our hands going forward.”

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