Find out more about one of Wales’ newest caps
Bristol Bears & Wales fly-half Ioan Lloyd
How old were you when you started playing?
Five, at my local club, St Peter’s. I was there until I was 13, then I moved to CRICC until the end of junior rugby, U16s.
Did you play any other sports growing up?
Football, rugby and cricket were my main sports. I also did swimming.
Who were your childhood heroes?
Anybody in a Wales jersey! Also Shaun Johnson, the NZ rugby league player. He’s my biggest inspiration – he’s just flair and is class to watch. He’s got an amazing step and is so skilful, but he’s got a bit of dog about him as well.
What positions have you played?
I’ve always been a fly-half. I only started playing full-back last year at Bristol.
How did the move to Bristol come about?
I’d moved to Clifton College and my teacher there, Matt Salter, has a good connection with Bristol so helped me get an opportunity with the U18 programme.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My dad. He’s been a big driving force. It was a big decision leaving all my friends to go to Clifton. I was 16 at the time, but my parents talked about it with me and helped me make the right decisions to give myself the best opportunities. I’d been in Cardiff all my life and I loved it, but this was an opportunity to have new experiences and play rugby somewhere else.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
To try to learn as much as possible. I’m lucky that I have a lot of amazing players at Bristol to learn off and in Wales camp I can see how those boys prepare for games and training, how they look after themselves. I’ll try to soak it all up and develop my game.
What do you do away from rugby?
I’m hoping to do my coaching courses at some point and I want to do a uni course too, probably something to do with sport.
RW Verdict: Bears boss Pat Lam unwittingly broke the news to Lloyd about his Wales call-up when congratulating the teenager before he knew he’d been named in the autumn squad! Lloyd followed his U18 and U20 honours by making his senior debut during the Autumn Nations Cup.
This article originally appeared in the December 2020 edition 0f Rugby World magazine.
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