But they proved themselves and shocked the rugby community in the Junior World Championship by becoming the first Under 20s side to beat New Zealand and going on to finish third.
Ellis was involved throughout Wales' championship campaign and has been installed as the squad's new captain.
Now he is determined to fire in the Six Nations which kicks off against Ireland on February 1.
"The Junior World Cup was a great experience," said the Cardiff and Blues flanker. "There are a lot of boys still involved with the U20s that went to South Africa and played in that game. There's some new faces as well, who all offer something different to the squad.
"Hopefully we can carry on that form from the Junior World Championship. We're in a good place. Hopefully we can enjoy a good Six Nations and then move forward to the next World Cup in France.
"I really enjoyed playing the last one, it was five tough games but an invaluable rugby and life experience. You're playing the best people at your age and to pit yourself against those guys is a great test. Now we have to build on that."
Wales were edged out by Ireland in Athlone last season and Ellis reckons home advantage could prove the difference once again.
"We have a big game against Ireland, who also did well at the World Cup, to start," added Ellis.
"It was a close game last year and they dropped a late goal to put it to bed. But we're in a much better place now than we were at this point last year.
"It will be a very tough start but in a home game, in front of our crowd, we should be able to put a performance in.
"It's brilliant up there at Parc Eirias. The hotel, ground, facilities are just fantastic.
"People were a bit apprehensive about going there before the start of last season but it was a fantastic success. We sold out most of the games and there's great support.
"We feed of the atmosphere. It's clichéd but it really is the 16th man, everyone gets a lift from the crowd and it makes you give that little bit extra."
Tickets for the Eirias games are £15 for reserved seating and £10 (adults) and £5 (concessions) in the terrace and with last season's games all selling out well in advance of matchday, supporters are urged to act quickly to avoid disappointment.
Tickets are on sale from the following outlets:
Colwyn Leisure Centre
01492 577900 or personal callers (Colwyn Bay Lesuire centre, Eirias Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7SP)
www.venuecymru.co.uk, 01492 872000 or personal callers (Venue Cymru, Y Promenad, Llandudno, LL30 1BB)
Telephone - 08442 777 888 or via wru.co.uk/tickets