THE LIVEWIRE halfback has been one of the standout New Zealand halfbacks so far in the 2012 Investec Super Rugby season, directing play around the field and distributing the ball with chilling accuracy and vision.
He featured in five RWC 2011 matches, including the Final where his decision to keep the ball in hand in the final few minutes of the game proved vital to victory. Ellis is a keen landscape designer and won awards at the prestigious Ellerslie Flower Show.
Called into the All Blacks for the Telecom BackingBlack Tour in 2010, Ellis took his opportunity with both hands, translating his form into the 2011 Investec Super Rugby season.
Playing behind a dominant Crusaders scrum, Ellis was duly rewarded with selection in the 2011 All Blacks squad.
The 134th All Black provided by Canterbury, Ellis was selected for the All Blacks squad in 2006 after just over a year on the New Zealand first-class rugby scene, playing in the Rebel Sport Super 14 rugby with the champion Crusaders and in the Air New Zealand Cup with Canterbury.
A halfback cut from the traditional cloth, Ellis earned the respect of fans and selectors with a strong pass and his quick, decisive play behind the pack.
Deceptively solid in stature, he started his rugby career as a forward, making several Canterbury age-group sides, before switching to halfback at the age of 15.
05.11.06 v England at London
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• Suffered a knee injury in the Crusaders Rebel Sport Super 14 2006 semifinal win over the Bulls at Jade Stadium and missed the final.
• Scored two tries in his debut Crusaders season, against the Hurricanes in Wellington and the Cats in Christchurch.
• Also scored two tries for New Zealand Under 21, both against France in the final match of the 2005 IRB Under 21 World Championship, and in his debut Canterbury campaign later the same year, one against Nelson Bays in an early-season Ranfurly Shield challenge and a second against Otago at Carisbrook.
• Nominated as a Promising Player of the Year in the 2006 New Zealand Rugby Almanack