Ryan Conbeer will head into Sunday’s BKT United Rugby Championship clash with the Emirates Lions hoping to maintain his impressive strike rate in the competition.
Still only 23, the Saundersfoot speedster already has 20 tries in 45 appearances to his name in the league and 26 in 51 matches overall in a Scarlets jersey.
Two of those came against the Stormers in Cape Town last weekend, but his finishing prowess is just part of an all-round game that is making people stand up and take notice.
No player has made more clean breaks in the URC this season – he is joint top on 12 with Edinburgh flyer Darcy Graham – while Conbeer (21) is also second to Graham (22) in defenders beaten and the top Welshman on the list of metres made in the opening nine rounds of the competition.
“Beating defenders is something I have always been able to do during my career, but also something you can’t stop working on,” he said, speaking to the media from the Scarlets base in Johannesburg.
“As a youngster, Shane Williams was my idol, he wasn’t the biggest, like me, but I loved watching the way he played, his ability to beat people, his speed, I just looked to pick up things from him.”
The experience of skipper Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams has also been influential on the Conbeer journey.
Head coach Dwayne Peel this week highlighted the pair’s work ethic and how that is rubbing off on emerging young players.
And the winger fully agrees
“They’ve been brilliant. They are always helping out the younger players on what we can improve on, not just on the field, but off it as well in terms of doing your homework and looking after yourself.”
Conbeer’s head coach Dwayne Peel is a big admirer. Outlining the winger’s strengths, the former Wales and Lions scrum-half said: “He can beat people, that’s his biggest plus for me. My conversation with him before every game is just get the ball in your hands and try and beat people. That’s what he is good at, while he’s obviously got good wheels.”
As for Sunday and the clash with the Lions, Conbeer is hoping to see plenty more of the ball and for the Scarlets to take the opportunities that eluded them in Cape Town.
“We’ve had a good couple of weeks in South Africa, it was good to have lots of ball last weekend, but we know our accuracy let us down against the Stormers, we created plenty of chances, probably enough to win the game, but, as i said, our accuracy let us down.
“Hopefully we can kick on this week.’