Coach Dave Ellis’ Indelible Link to Connacht Glory
Connacht left its mark on New Zealander Dave Ellis, both figuratively and literally. Ellis misses the place he called home for almost four years when he helped turn the province into a force last season; it comes to him in fleeting moments as he remembers Galway and its people, the Irish Independent reports.
If he needs a reminder, he just looks at his right calf where he proudly wears a tattoo of the Connacht crest and the inscription: Pro-12 2015/16 Winner.
His role in that success cannot be understated. It’s easy to forget given how badly things have gone since he departed, but the westerners’ skill-levels last season were exceptional as they deservedly claimed the PRO12 title by outplaying Leinster at Murrayfield.
His work in the west of Ireland caught the eye back home and last summer the Auckland Blues approached him to come and work with their players as the skills coach. He approached Pat Lam who agreed that the opportunity was too good to turn down.
A rural boy, the big city Blues represents a real change for Ellis, but it’s one he’s relishing. Not that he’s forgetting his second home.
“I loved it,” Ellis says of his time in Ireland and the march to the title. “The more I look back on it, the more little memories come back. Things you take for granted, it’s really nice … just walking down those cobbled streets in Shop Street in Galway a few times, you know?”
Original article by Ruaidhri O’Connor, Irish Independent, June 7, 2017.
Photo by Sportsfile.