Lewis Wells wings in from Linlithgow to boost Edinburgh Accies’ title challenge

19-year-old has scored three tries in two Premiership games so far for Raeburn Place men

Lewis Wells has had a fine start to his Edinburgh Accies career. Image: John Wright
Lewis Wells has had a fine start to his Edinburgh Accies career. Image: John Wright

WINGER Lewis Wells has had an excellent start to life in the Premiership with Edinburgh Accies. Before the 2022-23 season began, Accies head coach Iain Berthinussen said that the 19-year-old Linlithgow-product had “plenty raw potential in terms of size, speed and power”, and in the 33rd minute of his competitive debut for the club versus GHA on August 27th, Wells showed that speed and power when he came off his wing to take a pass from team mate Vincent Hart in midfield and go through the visiting team’s defence for five points at Raeburn Place.

That try helped his side secure a 36-7 bonus point win and, on September 3rd at the same ground he bagged a try double as Accies made others sit up and take notice with an impressive 53-12 victory over last year’s champions Marr. The Raeburn Place men now sit top of the Premiership table after two rounds of matches but Wells is quick to point out that he and his team-mates are acutely aware that there is a long way still to go in this season.

“I made the move to Edinburgh Accies from my local club Linlithgow because I wanted to test myself against top teams,” he said. “We have taken some confidence from the way we have started the season and we hope to build on that when rugby resumes [following last weekend’s postponements in response to Queen Elizabeth’s death].


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“In the game against GHA, we started a bit slowly, but then things began to come together and we were happy with our 80 minutes against Marr, but no one is getting carried away at all.

“There are too many experienced coaches and players at the club for that, while, for myself, playing in games as physical and fast as the ones we have had so far is very, very new to me.

“It has been nice to get some early season tries and I’ll just keep working hard and learning from the guys around me at Accies who have really made me feel welcome.”

Wells’ initial interest in rugby was really driven by his father who used to play for Linlithgow back in the day and took his son down to join the mini section at the West Lothian community club.

“Dad played for several years at Linlithgow and he loved it, so as soon as I was old enough he had me down passing a ball about at mini rugby,” Wells recounts. “I played up through the mini section and then into the age-grade teams there and it was good fun with my mates, but then I was unable to play a few years ago due to a serious eye infection.

“After that I was just keeping fit by going to the gym and I wasn’t sure if I was going to go back to rugby, but after a few chats with my Dad I decided to give it another go and I headed back down to Linlithgow to play.”

 

Various lockdowns then also got in the way of Wells’ progress, but when domestic rugby got back up and running at the tail end of 2020-21 and into 2021-22, his friends got him involved in an under-20s tournament for Linlithgow and he has not looked back since.

“That got me heading down to senior training on a regular basis and I played for Linlithgow all of last season [they finished third in Tennent’s East League Division One],” he continues. “It was great fun playing with lots of guys who I knew and guys I’d watched over the years, and while I was playing I was also doing a [Developing Sporting Performance] course at Edinburgh College which was focused on rugby, too.

Craig Jackson [the Scotland Sevens cap] was the lecturer there and we learnt about things like nutrition, but mainly it was about developing as a person and it was helpful for that.”

When he was at Linlithgow last year, Wells started off playing centre, the position he has grown up playing, before moving mid-season to the wing. He took to it like a duck to water and his form earned him a prize at the club’s end of season awards event.

Post-season he then spoke to his coach at the club, Dougie Thomson, and suggested that he would like to give things a go at a higher level. Thomson put him in touch with Berthinussen at Accies and the move has been a good one.

“Pre-season was pretty tough but enjoyable, and there is a really tight knit group at Raeburn Place which made it easy for me to feel a part of things,” Wells, who is currently working as a personal trainer, said.

“We have good forwards and lots of backs who like to attack so I just have to take my chances when they come and keep building into the best player I can be.”

Edinburgh Accies host Hawick at Raeburn Place on Saturday.


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About Gary Heatly 272 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.

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