Debut: Vs Canterbury Bulldogs (Elland Road) 4th February 2005
Honours: Grand Final (Winner: 2007, 2008; Finalist: 2005), Challenge Cup (Finalist: 2005), World Club (Winner: 2005, 2008), League Leaders’ Shield (2009)
Leeds Rhinos pulled off a major coup in the Christmas of 2005, when Gary Hetherington delivered the perfect present for the Champions by capturing Ellis from Wakefield from under the noses of rivals Bradford Bulls.
Having played over 100 games for Trinity, the front rower came into a Leeds side that already had a strong back row in Ali Lauitiiti, Chris McKenna and Kevin Sinfield. Ellis debuted for Leeds in the 2005 World Club win over Canterbury, which set in motion a remarkable spell at the club.
On his home debut against St Helens, he earned the fans faith, putting in a man of the match performance. He featured in all three of Leeds’ finals that year, missing three games and scoring ten tries.
A year later, he was awarded Player of the Season, scoring eight tries as Leeds finished third. In 2007 and 2008, despite a change in coaching, he played in both of Leeds’ Grand Final wins, claiming his first professional honours.
There had been speculation of a move to the NRL for the back rower and in 2009, that came true; Ellis signing for Wests Tigers. In all, he made 123 appearances in Leeds colours, scoring 110 tries.
Internationally, he made 17 Great Britain appearances from 2003 to 2007, beating New Zealand in the Lions’ final series, prior to it’s reformation in 2019. He also picked up 16 England caps from 2008 to 2012, scoring two tries.