Wales have a new ‘X-factor’ wing option who’s quick, skilful and a beast in the gym

Scarlets’ “X-factor” winger Ryan Conbeer has emerged as a possible contender for Wales’ summer tour of South Africa.

The 23-year-old has been one of the west Walians’ shining lights this season, nailing down a starting spot in Dwayne Peel’s side with a run of impressive performances. Having not always been a certainty in the side, the former Wales U20s star is fast becoming undroppable for the Scarlets.

His ability to swerve out of contact without seemingly losing any momentum or speed has caused teams problems on their visits to Parc y Scarlets – with one break against Bristol Bears earlier in the season standing out as the sort of swashbuckling rugby the Llanelli crowd expect to see. Throw in a hat-trick this weekend, albeit in a losing cause to the Ospreys, and it’s understandable why tongues are wagging over the Saundersfoot-born youngster.

Read more:The two uncapped Welsh wing wonders who have just done something very special in front of watching Wayne Pivac

“He’s a very good player,” explained former Wales wing Aled Brew, who briefly played alongside Conbeer at the Scarlets. “He doesn’t get as many chances as he probably should.

“But when he gets them, he’s either scoring or making solid breaks. He’s a very dangerous player.

“He’s got an X-factor about him. He’s pretty difficult to tackle. Low centre of gravity and he’s very powerful.

“He’s a really strong guy. I think he’s one of the strongest in the gym when it comes to squatting and stuff.

“He’s a good team player. When he’s not playing, he’s helping the side prepare for matches. When he gets his chances, he’s got a good strike-rate. He’s one of their best finishers.”

Crucially for Conbeer, he’s been dealt the most valuable currency a winger can get – consistent minutes. Without the pressure of being thrown in here and there, Conbeer has been able to thrive from week to week.

Granted, he had missed a couple of weeks leading up to the Ospreys match to welcome the birth of his daughter. But the point stands that he’s making the most of getting a regular run, while keeping more established players like Wales international Steff Evans out of the side.

“I think it is a bit like gold dust,” said Brew when asked about the run of games Conbeer has had. “The more minutes you have, the more confident you get which is key for a winger.

Ryan Conbeer of Scarlets scores a try

“Sometimes it’s hard for wingers to be chucked in and expected to score tries and take people on when you don’t do it every week. When you get those chances in regular games, that’s when you start to get on a roll.”

And when it came to the possibility of a Welsh call-up, Brew admitted he’s in a decent position to force his way into the reckoning ahead of Wayne Pivac’s side’s tour of South Africa.

“Yeah, I don’t see why not,” he added. “I’ve seen other players who have played Test rugby who perhaps haven’t performed as well as him in the club game. He’d need to go in there and perform as well as he has done with the Scarlets.

“Tom Rogers is another who will be in the Wales team for years to come when he starts to grow in confidence. I think with George North and the decision on whether you take him or give him a full pre-season, Ryan might come into the equation.

“He’s a powerful guy with some wheels. When he gets an opportunity one-on-one, you’re pretty confident he’s going to beat that guy.

“He scores those tries weekly. Two or three guys coming across the field and he steps inwards and powers over. He’s not just got the step and pace, he’s got the power to back it up as well.”


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