posted on 23 January 2015

Gareth Ellis looks back on his career ahead of his testimonial on Sunday.

Ellis spent over six years at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and broke through into the first team making over 100 appearances before moving on to local rivals Leeds Rhinos.

"I was playing for the Wakefield Academy but I wasn't on a contract or anything like that, it was just a great opportunity for me to be playing at a higher level than what I was already playing. In fact I'm not sure we won a game for the first 12 games or something ridiculous like that but our coach John Harbin was a real tough Australian, who would constantly rive us to work hard and get the reward. That season we managed to do that, because we went from not winning a game to winning 10 out of the last 12 games."

Ellis not only broke through into the first team but was also picked for the Great Britain side. He praised the Wakefield Academy Head Coach, John Harbin for giving him the confidence to go on and have a successful career after spotting him playing for Yorkshire Under 18s.

"I looked back at that moment and think that was the point where he instilled the belief into me to not only make it professionally for Wakefield but even go on to represent our country."

"I can still remember that day I signed for Wakefield Wildcats professionally on 15th July 1999. It was a four year apprenticeship, I had just left college and I now had a choice between going out and getting a job or pursuing this fantastic opportunity. With where I had managed to get to, up to the point I was so happy to get the chance because becoming a professional rugby player was what I had dreamed of. I was earning £60 a week, but it wasn't and never has been about the money, it was more about this great chance I now had."

"Wakefield was a real good club to keep me grounded, it gave me the chance to learn what was required to make the next step up. The club gave me time to develop and if I had been at a bigger club I'm not sure I would have had that opportunity."


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