Attended school in Johannesburg. His father was born in Newport. Rhys played for Newport U21 and Wales U21 and made 6 appearances scoring 1try for Newport RFC in 2002-03. Awarded a development contract with Newport Gwent Dragons in 2003-04. Made further 15 appearances scoring 3tries in 2003-04 for Newport RFC helping them win the Welsh Premiere League title. Newport Gwent Dragons player in 2004-05 and made his Wales debut vs Argentina in June 2006.