THE SCARLETS today announce that they have secured 21 talented players on new contracts with the region. The region has unveiled an impressive list of Welsh players which it has retained as the Scarlets look to build on their performance and development this season.

These include some of Wales’ most exciting international class talent including Scarlets wings Morgan Stoddart and George North, back-row forwards Josh Turnbull and Rob McCusker, no8 Ben Morgan, scrum-half Tavis Knoyle and outside half Rhys Priestland. To secure the talent and promise of such key players going forward is a positive move forward for the Scarlets and shows the region’s commitment to back home-grown talent and achieve success by developing from within.

Head Coach Nigel Davies said: “It was crucial and a key objective for our future rugby ambitions and goals to have retained such a strong core of players at Parc y Scarlets and is a hugely positive step for us next season and beyond. We’re delighted to have retained a number of key impact players who are committed for the forthcoming seasons to the Scarlets, our style of rugby and our identity and culture. It underpins the investment and progress that is being made in development of great Welsh talent from within our region and comes just two days after we fielded an all Wales starting XV on Sunday against Treviso.

“Our philosophy of putting our belief and faith in young rugby players discovered, nurtured and developed from within our own system, has shown itself to be of value and purpose. This season we’ve already seen an increasing number of our Scarlets picked for international duty. A total of 29 of our players were on international duty at U18, U20 and senior Wales levels during the Six Nations – a source of real pride for all those working within our region and supporting us.” said Nigel Davies.

“When we then add the leadership and experience of our senior players with Stephen Jones, Matthew Rees, Sean Lamont, Iestyn Thomas and others providing guidance and vision and mentoring a young group of players, I’m confident that we’re building a good balance within the squad. The mix of youth and experience with the coaching set-up we have, just adds energy and makes our rugby environment competitive and dynamic.”

The impressive list of talented players have committed themselves to the Scarlets shirt on two and three year contracts for the coming seasons are:

Aaron Shingler

Ben Morgan

Damian Welch

Dan Newton

Emyr Phillips

Morgan Stoddart

Peter Edwards

Phil John

Dale Ford (development contract)

Gareth Maule

Johnathan Edwards

Kirby Myhill (development contract)

Scott Williams

Rob McCusker

Tavis Knoyle

Aled Davies

George North

Jordan Williams (development contract)

Josh Turnbull

Rhodri Jones (development contract)

Rhys Priestland

Chief Executive of the Scarlets, Mark Davies said: “The success we have all seen this season with a number of young Scarlets gaining honours on the international stage is not about overnight success, this is the result of three years of hard work in development and coaching and there is more to come. We have committed to a sustainable and realistic programme of development and investment in our regional rugby system and understand that we have another two to three years left to go until we realise our ultimate ambitions and potential.”

“True development takes time, belief, commitment and a great deal of courage. The Scarlets are fortunate to have the knowledge and passion of Nigel Davies and Gareth Jenkins who are leading this drive in Wales and sticking to our ethos of creating and managing the right development pathways that can deliver a sustainable performance platform over time. “The fact that many of these star players were all eager to sign-up to us in the medium term says a lot about their belief and support of what we are doing here at the Scarlets and their desire to be part of a motivated and committed squad that quite obviously play for each other and the shirt.”