Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club

Ellis out to continue success of debut season

Arthur Ellis is well aware of the need for Ealing Trailfinders to put memories of their National 1 title winning season firmly behind them when they return to action in the Greene King IPA Championship in September.

Ben Ward’s side will play in the Championship for the second time in their history having won the National 1 title with 136 points, nine more than their nearest rivals Rosslyn Park

Ellis enjoyed a stellar season in which he scored 29 tries and was voted Players’ and Coaches’ Player of the Year. 

“It’s a big year, ” Ellis said. “We did well to get promoted last year and it was a tough old season and we had to back up wins, but this is another massive year and we’re definitely looking forward to it. It is a big challenge again and where we want to be, playing in the top leagues.

“I thought I played ok last year, but it is a challenge to keep playing at that level. You can’t just rest on your laurels, you have to keep improving and keep getting better and putting in improved performances and bigger wins. That will come if you’re playing well, so it is more about the team than myself.”

Ealing Trailfinders fans will be in for a treat in the coming season with the likes of Bristol, London Welsh and old rivals London Scottish and Jersey set to visit Vallis Way. 

The Championship was firmly in the headlines in recent weeks after a scintillating play-off final that Worcester edged over Bristol thanks to a last-minute Chris Pennell try that Ryan Lamb converted. 

It means that the West Country club are again the stellar draw in the league, with the likes of Lions internationals Gavin Henson, Ryan Jones and Dwayne Peel set to appear in W13 for the first time in their careers. 

“The excitement will definitely start to build when the fixture list comes out, ” Ellis added. “As a team coming up every game is huge, but Bristol is probably the big one. Watching their Championship finals, they were unbelievable and you want to be playing against teams like that.”

Two seasons ago it took Ealing Trailfinders 11 matches to win their first match and earn their first points of the campaign when they ended that unenviable run with a bonus-point victory away to Jersey. 

With new faces arriving at Vallis Way over the summer, many with experience of the Premiership and Championship, Ellis is confident that they shouldn't endure similar struggles this time around. 

“We have to stamp our authority and make teams take notice of us, ” he said. “You can’t have them coming down here and bullying us, but I can’t see teams doing that. 

“With the pitch, that is going to be different for some of the teams, so we’ve got to really nail that advantage.”