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Lewis not giving up on Sevens and Premiership dreams

Lewis not giving up on Sevens and Premiership dreams

Lloyd Lewis

Lloyd Lewis has two big reasons to curse the coronavirus crisis that shut down rugby three months ago.

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The Pontypool wing was on course to finally help his club climb back into the Indigo Group Premiership and he was also making his mark once again for Wales Sevens. Then came lockdown and all his dreams were shattered.

Despite not having lost a league game all season, and seemingly being on course for a fourth successive national Championship title, Pontypool were told there would be no promotion. The World Series sevens also came to a shuddering halt.

It meant Lewis had to content himself with four tries from his two appearances at the Los Angeles and Vancouver tournaments. His bid to push himself into the shop window for possible Olympic selection ended almost as soon as it began – and cost him potential trips to London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong.

But the 23-year-old flying wing from Croesyceiliog is staying positive, working hard and is re-setting his goals for when rugby returns in both the 15 and 7-a-side codes.

“I went away with the sevens when I was with the Dragons Academy, but this time I felt a lot better. I really enjoyed it and was looking forward to the rest of the season,” Lewis told the South Wales Argus.

“I’ve got more experience, and I’m a much better player, and it was good to get the chance to show what I can do. I was slightly apprehensive because the fitness is crazy in sevens, but that was alright and it all went so well.

“I felt like it was the start of something and it’s a shame that I didn’t get the chance to see the season out. It’s a hard situation at the moment, everything is up in the air with the sevens but, hopefully, I will be back.”

Lewis, who got his first taste of Premiership rugby at Cross Keys while he was at the Dragons, has scored 29 tries in 32 outings for Pontypool. That strike rate has kept him on the radar of the Wales Sevens coaches.

The Sevens programme has proved a wonderfully fruitful breeding ground for professional players and internationals in the past – Sam Cross, James Davies and Luke Morgan have all become 15-a-side caps in recent years – and Lewis’ pace gives him a real point of difference.

“I think that I could make it, but it’s just about getting the opportunities because I have been away from the pro game,” said Lewis, who helped the Dragons win the Singha Premiership 7s in 2015.

“I don’t think that I’ve had the chance to show what I can do. That’s why the sevens was so good, it was an opportunity to be back in the shop window.

“That’s why it’s so frustrating with Pontypool as well. I could score loads of tries but nobody would really take any notice because it’s in the Championship.

“When we are in the Premiership I know that I’ll be doing the same thing. I need to get back showing people what I can do.

“It was gutting when they called off the season. We had put in a really good shift and were in a strong position, but it couldn’t be helped.

“We’ll have the same goal when we start again – nothing has changed and there is no doubt in my mind that we will go up.”

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