The dreams of a professional rugby career are held by many but realised by few. For Ioan Lloyd, a fly-half from Cardiff, that dream has become a reality at just 18 years-old. Touted early as an amazing talent, the Welshman became the youngest ever player to feature for Premiership side the Bristol Bears. Coming off a strong U18s Six Nations tournament for Wales (for which he was captain), and with a number of players away at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Lloyd was given a chance for first team action at the beginning of the season.
Lloyd seized that opportunity in the Bear's opening game of the season. Facing fierce rivals Bath in front of a sold-out home crowd, Lloyd came off the bench to score, making him Bristol's youngest ever try scorer. After the whistle was blown, many took to social media to sing the youngster's praises.
The excitement surrounding Lloyd has grown with each performance. Facing the Sale Sharks, Lloyd provided his team with the only try of the game, orchestrating a crucial 16-10 victory.
A week later, the fly-half earned his first senior start against Zebre in the European Challenge Cup. With a serious case of try-line fever, Lloyd added another four tries to his collection, whilst also showcasing his ability with the boot with a 100% conversion rate. His outstanding performance again received rave reviews and he was awarded Man of the Match.
Bristol Bears currently sit 5th in the Gallagher Premiership and are through to the European Challenge Cup quarter finals after finishing top of pool four with a seven try victory over Brive.
After his stellar start in Premiership rugby, Lloyd has been called up for international duty once again, named in the 33-man Wales U20s squad. Many pundits predict an international call-up won't be far away.
The Welsh U20s Six Nations campaign will kick off on the 31st January, where they will face Italy in the first round.
Follow Ioan Lloyd's journey here:
Twitter: @ioanlloyd3 Instagram: @ioanlloyd10