TIME TO SAY GOODBYE #4 Mike Ellery
August 3 2018
Mike Ellery was born in Penrith on 8th September 1991. He played his early rugby for Penrith as a 15 year old, moving to Darlington Mowden Park and Westoe before joining Newcastle Academy in 2009. He spent 2 years at Moseley (interestingly at No 8) before catching the eye of the England sevens selectors.
Mike made his name as an England 7’s player from 2012-14. He represented his country in 10 competitions, scoring 100 points (20 tries I presume). He and his sister Megan hold a unique record, both having represented England at the same Dubai Sevens tournament. His mum, Dawn, was also a Champion sprinter. Having represented England in the 2014 Commonwealth games (where the team won the Plate competition), Mike joined Sarries at the start of the 2014 season (dual registered with Bedford Blues although I think he only made one appearance for them) switching positions to wing. At the time he had only played on the wing in 7’s. Mark McCall said “Mike Ellery is a tall, strong man with both skill and speed. He has been making headlines on the sevens circuit and we are looking forward to helping him realise his full potential in the 15-man game”.
I first saw him at the pre-season friendly at Goldington Road in 2014 when he looked like Jacques Burger’s little brother!
He made his debut against Quins in November 2014. In his first season, his appearances were confined to the Anglo-welsh cup (5 appearances, 2 tries) which Sarries won along with victory in the A League (where Storm were unbeaten), but the following year (2015-16) he broke into the first team, playing both in the Premiership (12 starts – 14 appearances and 5 tries) and the European Champions Cup (1 start – 2 appearances, 1 try at Oyonnax I think). The following season, however saw fewer rather than more time in the first team. In 2016-17 Mike played 11 times (8 starts) in the Premiership, scoring 3 tries, including a particularly acrobatic one in the semi-final defeat to Exeter (where he replaced the injured Chris Ashton) and just once in The European Champions Cup. Once again he spent his time with Saracens Storm and the Anglo-Welsh Cup (5 starts, 1 try).
In 2017-18 he was confined to a single appearance in the Premiership and 2 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup before Simon Amor tempted him to leave the Club to return to the national 7’s team. He played in Gold Coast 2018, winning a bronze medal with England. He represented his country in the sevens World Cup in San Francisco and the Commonwealth Games where he helped England to a bronze medal.
Sadly during his time with Sarries, Mike never managed to hold down a regular place on the wing. With the likes of Chris Ashton, Chris Wyles, Sean Maitland and Liam Williams ahead of him maybe it was just too hard a nut to crack. But he had his moments. During Ashy’s suspensions and other international call ups he didn’t let the side down, it was just he didn’t quite have that spark to take him beyond the replacements bench.
Hopefully his return to the England 7’s side, where he is probably most at home, will restart his career and we all wish him well.pqs: qs:
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