Welsh Wonderkid settles in position after impressing Pivac in a short audition

Welsh Wonderkid settles in position after impressing Pivac in a short audition

Welsh utility back Ioan Lloyd seemed to have taken a long position in a move that could provide support to Wayne Pivac and Wales.

The Bristol Bears star has played in the entire back line, but now, although the Gallagher Premiership has not started in this role, he is set to focus on winning jersey 12 next season.

After breaking through as a fly-half, he made his test debut in 2020 as an extreme defender, appearing on the wing this season and even as an emergency scrum. His only start at the inner center so far came against the Scarlets in Europe, where, despite being forced to knock on his ankle after only 30 minutes, Pivac stood up and gave him a standing ovation. You can read this in-depth analysis of his performance that night here.

Read more: Wales may have one place left in the World Cup backline and two people left

Bristol rugby director Pat Lam said of Lloyd’s decision to focus on the center of the field: “This is Ioan’s fourth season coming straight from school. Part of his talent is that he can play and experience different positions.

“He just enjoyed learning the game and growing up, but this season we sat with him and said, ‘Now you’re four years old, where do you want to play and really compete?’ For him, it’s 12, but 12, who can play 10. That’s the position he wants to play. We talked about it in the middle of the season, but he had problems and then broke his jaw against Bath, so he was out. for a while.

“He showed a cursory glance at what he can do in the inner center against the Scarlets in the Champions Cup. It’s an area that excites him and excites us.”

“If we have an injury crisis, it still has the ability to cover other positions, but we will narrow forward to being the inner center and flying halfway.”

Moving to the center will not only improve Bristol’s position as Antoine Frisch leaves for Munster, he should also help Lloyd’s international hopes. The 21-year-old was missing from Pivac’s recent teams after being told to work on his defense, but nailing should help his chances of selection because he had jumped a bit during his development.

The fact that he could stand as part of the 10-12 axis alongside the Welsh international Callum Sheedy – another who did not make the selection for the South Africa tour – could also be beneficial for Lloyd and Pivac. Both are likely to stay at Ashton Gate for a little longer, with both players with at least a year to sign with the Premiership, which means a partnership could be formed in the next period.

Lloyd’s own experience in jersey 10 and the amount of responsibility handed over to the internal center in the Bristol system should definitely help his game.

“For us 12 and 10, he really has to be able to shoot and he now has four years of experience,” Lam added. “I believe that the player can handle different positions and he certainly will. But I think it’s important for him for the next part of his development. We have to remember that he is only 21 years old. He came as an 18-year-old … old.

“He already has 60 matches for the first team, so he has all the experience and appreciates that he plays the defender, wing, 10, inner center, sometimes he also played nines, and that gave him more recognition as he develops.

“In every game, Ioan showed glimpses of world class, but he also showed a glimmer of inconsistency in some basic parts of the game. It’s about getting to the next level.”

“As you go through, everyone looks at what you can do, how you move on to the next level, what’s ultimately emphasized is what you can’t do and when you make mistakes and turns – and I’m speaking, not just Ioan – these things hurt the team . He certainly has a lot of growth with an emphasis on giving Ioan a better and greater influence on the team. “


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